What is a Brag Book: definition and tips

We all grew up with an opinion that bragging is not good. Every time we find ourselves bragging makes us feel uncomfortable about who we are. But all this has nothing to do with marketing and job interviews. On the contrary, bragging saves advertising and is an excellent strategy that ensures success.

It’s not bragging if you can back it up. 

Muhammad Ali

What is a brag book?

In terms of sales, there is a helpful tool for illustrating accomplishments called a brag book. It’s a great way to tell your story and prove your professionalism to reach the goal. 

A brag book is a collection of testimonials, case studies, or pictures from satisfied customers. A sales representative can present their brag book to prospects to demonstrate their prior success and how they’ve met their clients’ expectations. 

A brag book is also called a work portfolio that proves your interview answers and develops your credibility with the interviewer. Bragging may be the principal differentiator between getting the first place and losing the offer.

What is more, a brag book increases confidence. Just seeing all your accomplishments in print will boost your self-esteem.

What do you put in a brag book

Sales brag book

What you would add to your brag book depends on what you need to show, but it can be pictures, reports, marketing brochures, PowerPoint presentations, copies of articles you’ve written, etc.

For example, let’s imagine you have created a successful advertising campaign that exceeds targets. You may include a copy of the advertising guarantees you were responsible for and a letter of praise from your management. 

Or, if you were responsible for solving a serious problem with a customer that prevented them from leaving for the competition, you can provide a copy of the client’s testimonial.

Think of all the awesome contributions that were made during your career. Anything that makes you look good and will help express your unique value proposition is a good idea.

Brag book for interviews

Here are some recommendations about what to include in your brag book for job interviews:

  • Resume, taking into account the job you are applying for;
  • Certificates of completion of educational courses or workshops related to your career that will demonstrate that you know the best practices in your industry;
  • Awards that will serve as official recognition of doing a good job and show that you strive to achieve excellence in everything you do;
  • Letters of recommendation from former managers, colleagues, and mentors that will be influential because authoritative words about you can be more effective than your words about yourself;
  • Customers’ testimonials that will serve as examples of your success and summarize all the positive things about you;
  • Copies of articles you’ve written related to the industry;
  • List of professional affiliations, including leadership roles;
  • References or a list of key stakeholders who will vouch for you as an employee and person of character;
  • Work samples, such as projects, newsletters, photographs, case studies, and proposals you’ve helped develop.

Putting everything together

Now that you’ve collected your documents, it’s time to physically assemble your brag book.

The essential thing is to keep everything well-organized and professional. This isn’t something that can be done in the last second. Certainly, doing this properly will take some time to get it right, so don’t be hasty. 

You may have a physical brag book or organize a digital one in a form of presentation:

  • If you have a physical brag book, use a good quality binder, define the content, create categories, sort according to them, and place each document in a plastic sleeve. Make sure that your copies are of good quality and readable.
  • If you have a digital brag book, make a plan, categorize content, and set everything in a logical, clear, and professional way.

In both variants, concentrate on giving concrete proof of your accomplishments. It’s also advisable to include examples of some of your best work.

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What is the best time to show your brag book

Another important thing is to understand when it’s appropriate to show the brag book. The best time to do so is when an interviewer or a potential client asks the typical question: “Why should I choose you?” At that moment, give out your book to illustrate all your good sides. 

Wrapping it up

A brag book will show your initiative, professionalism, preparation, and understanding of sales and marketing, as well as set you apart from your opponents. And when it comes to job interviews, with it, your interviewer will see the proof to your answers, remember you among other competitors, and know you’re genuinely interested in the job.   

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