What is the purpose of a brag book?
A brag book, if well-constructed and used properly in an interview, can add life and credibility to your resume. It can also help your interviewer remember more details about you when the interview day is done.
What do I include in my brag book?
Take a look at your resume. Make a list of all of your accomplishments and then think about how you can document them in your brag book. You want to include tangible evidence of as many achievements as possible. For some, this may be an easy task. For those of us who tend not to save everything, it may take some digging and may also require a few phone calls to get some of this information in writing.
Here are some specific ideas of what to include:
- Notes from company personnel congratulating you on your most recent sales award.
- If you have a wall plaque that documents your sales achievements,make a copy of the front of it and include it.
- Performance reviews.
- Recent college grads can include a college transcript with GPA, if it was a 3.0 or better.
- Letters of recommendation from previous employers, professors, etc.
- Certificates of completion of any special courses that you have taken.
- Photos of you accepting awards.
- A pay stub that shows your outstanding commissions with a previous employer.
- Documented achievements that show your leadership skills or positions held.
- A business card that shows your previous job title.
- A president's club status notification.
- Photos of yourself at the president's club trip.
After collecting your documentation, take note of how many pages you have.
Go to a local office supply store and purchase a sales binder with clear plastic insert pages (a.k.a. a pitch book). Pitch books are sold with varying numbers of pages so choose the size that will best accommodate your needs. Before putting your pages into the book, highlight the main points on each page in yellow marker. Assemble it in reverse chronological order with your most recent documentation first. You may want to tab your pages for quick access if you have a lot of information.
How do I use my brag book?
When a question comes up about your accomplishments and/or achievements, answer the question and then refer to the sections of the brag book that back up your claims. Use a pencil and refer to the highlighted points (you don't want the interviewer to have to read all of the information).
Practice using your brag book and remember where your information is located within the pages. The last thing that you want to do is fumble around for the information. Also, keep in mind that it is not necessary to show all your information. Play it by ear, and if the interviewer is truly interested in seeing it all, by all means, brag away! If the interviewer seems uninterested, don't continually refer to your book. The brag book is meant to support and back up your verbal answers to questions. Don't rely on it to answer your questions.
About the Author
Lisa Lane is the author of 3 Days to a Pharmaceutical Sales Job Interview. For more information contact Lisa at Lisa@listondisc.com or visit www.pharmaceuticalsalesinterviews.com