What is a bragbook?
A bragbook is a collection of documents which provides evidence of your success to a potential employer. Typically, they are assembled within a tabbed divider utilizing transparent sheet protectors.
What is the purpose of a bragbook?
A bragbook establishes credibility and enhances a potential employer’s sense of confidence that you are the right person to hire for the job. Remember, words and claims regarding one’s success are meaningless if an individual cannot document their validity. Furthermore, you will leave a much stronger impression on a hiring if you go to the effort of creating a “bragbook”.
What do I include in my bragbook?
The bragbook should reinforce the accomplishments outlined within your resume. In essence, your resume should be your career outline and your bragbook is the details or the proof. At most, the bragbook should cover a period of ten years of your academic and professional life. If you make it any longer than that you will start to “age” yourself and your bragbook will begin to work against you.
Some ideas of what to include:
- Emails or letters from management congratulating you on significant accomplishments.
- If you have a wall plaque that recognizes performance, copy the front of it and include it.
- Performance reviews.
- Ranking reports that show your performance in comparison to your colleagues.
- Recent college grads can include college transcripts if ranked within top 10% of graduating class.
- Recommendation letters from previous employers, professors, etc.
- Certificates pertaining to any coursework or training that would enhance your credentials.
- Photographs at award ceremonies
- Checks from current or previous employers validating your sales performance (commissions).
- Documentation pertaining to leadership positions assigned at various companies.
- Business cards that verify your previous job title.
How do I assemble my bragbook?
After assembling all your relevant documentation, visit an office supply store and purchase a tabbed binder with clear plastic insert pages.
Make sure you tab your binder so that anyone reviewing it can quickly access the requested documentation. As an example, you may want to have sections for education and for each employer as that is how your resume is organized. Remember, the resume and bragbook should mirror one another so that everything has a theme and focus.
How do I use my bragbook?
At the beginning of the interview, we suggest you provide the interviewer with a copy of your bragbook and let them know that any points or accomplishments highlighted within your resume are supported with documentation within your bragbook. Additionally, share with them that the reason you have been successful in your career is by making good decisions that are supported by facts and performance history and you treat your the interview process the same way. This does two things: first, it illustrates your wise decision making process and second, it plants “seeds of doubt” regarding competing candidates who fail to document their performance claims.