• Jackie Castaneda

The Power of A Brag Book

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

The world is full of braggarts- I’ll go so far as to say that virtually everyone has been guilty of extolling their own personal virtues on occasion but I’d bet that nobody would admit that bragging is an admirable activity that ensures success. The word certainly does conjure up some negative images for me whether that’s attributed to my meek, humble 'Canadianness' or need to shed the stereotype of salespeople as egotistical blowhards, I’m not sure. However, I can confidently say that while in job search mode, if executed properly, bragging might just be the prime differentiator between getting the offer and coming in second place. The key here is for candidates to get clarity on career accomplishments and be able to present them in such a way that positions the candidate as the perfect fit for the job. The best way to go about that is by assembling a “brag book” either as a presentation tool during the interview or as a leave-behind at the end. Brag books have long been an integral piece of interviewing in certain sales focused industries such as office solutions or “copier”. So, what is a brag book? It’s a collection of documents that demonstrates and validates your candidacy as a professional in your field of expertise. The brag book shows that there is substance behind your interview answers. It’s a sad fact that a growing number of interviewees are taking some big liberties with the truth when it comes to their qualifications and achievements and hiring managers are seeking avenues to weed those fibbers out. The brag book goes a long way in establishing your credibility in an interviewer’s eyes. It should be a polished piece bound by a presentation binder. It should include a table of contents. All documents should be in a similar font with your name, contact information and page numbers. Here are some suggestions for key documents to be included in your very own brag book:

  • Table of Contents – includes your name and the position and company you are interviewing along with page numbers

  • Resume – tailored to the job for which you are interviewing

  • Professional Organizations – demonstrates that you get involved in your function/industry, that you are aware of best practices, or can quickly find out about best practices in your area of expertise and may show your leadership skills

  • Awards – from sales contests and campaigns, school, sports and other extra-curricular activities. Shows excellence in all you do and drive to go above and beyond

  • Letters of Recommendation – letters from former bosses, colleagues and mentors, etc. – powerful because what others say about you can be more impactful than what you say about yourself

  • Endorsements and Testimonials – gather all of the great things that have been said about you – examples include “great job” emails and LinkedIn recommendations

  • References – a list of key stakeholders who will vouch for you as an employee and person of character

I often get questions about when to whip this masterpiece out in the interview. The best time to do so is when the interviewer asks the typical question: “What accomplishments are you proudest of?” or even the classic “Why should I hire you?” It‘s at that point where bringing out the book and walking the interviewer through it is of great advantage. Besides adding legitimacy to your claims, it also gives the interviewer the chance to witness your presentation skills with the product being YOU.

In summary, your brag book:

  • Shows that there is substance behind your interview answers

  • Provides a visual to help the interviewer remember you

  • Differentiates you from the competition

  • Demonstrates by your effort that you are sincerely interested in the job

  • Provides an opportunity to showcase your presentation skills

I can confidently say as a hiring manager, candidates who have used these tips have seen a measurable boost when it comes to their success at landing that coveted position I have interviewed them for at ZO.

Original post by Patrick Power -Executive Recruitment Manager at MAGNUS Talent- Medical Devices February 3, 2015

#sales #bragbook #recruitment

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