Updated: Sep 25
We’re told all our lives to be humble, and in general, that’s good advice. After all, there’s a reason why pride is one of the seven deadly sins, and everybody knows that pride goes before a fall. So, bragging often embarrasses us and makes us feel uncomfortable. And yet, often, a little bragging is necessary. There are times when you have to be the one to act as your advocate, to blow your own horn, and to tell people just how great you are, assuming, of course, it’s the truth. After all, as Muhammed Ali said, “It’s not bragging if you back it up.”
Of course, opportunities for bragging about your career tend to be few and far between. And that’s why you need a brag book.
What’s a Brag Book?
A brag book is basically, your portfolio. Maybe you aren’t in the visual arts or a writer, or in advertising/marketing, so having a portfolio might seem unnecessary.
But it is necessary.
Think about it – you’ve done projects before, some of them very big and important to the bottom line. It may seem impossible to forget about these projects after you’ve completed them, but in the stress of a job search, preparation for your performance review, and simply the passage of time, your accomplishments can easily be minimized or even forgotten altogether. And if you don’t remember your successes, no one else will, either.
Using a Brag Book to Help Your Job Search
Just because you don’t work in a field where you’re expected to bring a portfolio to a job interview doesn’t mean you can’t use your brag book to strengthen your job search. Here’s what you can do:
Share your brag book online: Make sure that your brag book is visible. If you have a LinkedIn profile, invite your friends, colleagues, and supervisors to add blurbs about your abilities. You should also provide details of any projects you’re proud of, especially if you managed to cut costs or streamline procedures. If you don’t want to use LinkedIn, or you want to go deeper into your projects, consider developing a website or blog.
Don’t keep it a secret: The point of having a brag book is to, well, brag. Provide a link to your book on your resume and on your cover letter. Let your professional network know about your brag book so they can refer others to it, and make sure that you link to it on your social media.
Toot your horn: Everybody gets discouraged from time to time, especially during a job search. So when you find yourself feeling bad, go back and review your accomplishments. This can be particularly useful before going into an interview.
Your Brag Book and Your Performance Review
For most people, getting a performance review is one of the most stressful events at work. After all, no one likes to be criticized. So before your review, re-read your brag book. It’s a great way to remind yourself of all the successes you’ve had, and what you should bring up during the review.
Contents of Your Brag Book
Once you decide to create your brag book, you’ll need to add content. What should you include?
Awards and recognition This one is kind of a no-brainer. If you’ve been recognized for your work, put it in your brag book!
Work samples and evaluations Your brag book is the perfect place to include any white papers, case studies, and proposals you’ve created. It’s also a good place for your evaluations. Make sure that you aren’t violating company confidentiality.
Recommendations, testimonials, and references When you receive a thank-you note for your work include it in your brag book. You should also include any testimonials and letters of recommendation. And don’t be shy about asking for those, especially from former supervisors.
Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You
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