Go Ahead Brag About It
By: Mary Catania and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software
It’s not enough to have a killer cover letter and pristine resume anymore. For your potential job candidates to stand out in face-to-face interviews with hiring managers, they need something more, that extra edge. They need physical proof that they are in fact high-achievers and well-organized go-getters. A “bragbook” is a compilation of work accomplishments, most often used in sales positions, that shows tangible evidence of job performance. Job competition remains fierce; especially in outside sales and B2B industries, such as pharmaceutical and medical technology fields, so make sure you prepare your candidates adequately going into an interview.
While a hiring manager will weigh a potential employee’s personality and overall report during the interview process, a bragbook can also add some life, color, excitement, and credibility to a live interview and a candidate’s job history. Make sure your candidate knows his or her bragbook inside and out; flipping through it frantically during the interview is going to hurt rather than help his or her chances. The candidate should not rely on the bragbook to lead the interview; rather, the candidate should use it as an aid, or to back up an answer with a statistic, photograph, or chart. The interview should have a conversational flow and not be bragbook-driven. Remember: the best kind of bragging happens naturally!
A bragbook can also serve a reminder to the interviewer. The hiring manager will most likely be able to recall more details about the candidate if he or she saw them on paper. Some of the bragbook’s content can be used as take-a-ways for the hiring manager, unless the candidate only has originals. Suggest to your candidate to make multiple copies of the bragbook pages so the candidate can leave behind samples for the hiring manager.
In addition, make sure you inform the job prospect on what the bragbook should look like. The book should be a professional, plain-colored, bounded, three-ring binder with clear sheets inside that can be easily accessed and removed. The contents should be constructed in an easy-to-use format, and include:
- Table of contents
- Cover letter
- Reference Sheet
- Letters of Recommendation (from LinkedIn, professors, e-mails)
- Pictures of awards
- Positive e-mails from coworkers
- Performance reviews
- Ranking reports
- College transcripts with GPA (if a 3.0 or better)
- Certificates of completion for specialized courses taken in sales, marketing, business, or other industry-related courses
- Photos of candidate accepting awards
- Sales commission pay stubs
A bragbook offers the hiring manager validation, but also shows the candidate is willing to go the extra mile and spend the time and effort preparing for the interview. It shows an eagerness to procure a job position and also an understanding of what it takes to succeed in the aggressive field of sales.