I know what you are thinking: mom told me that bragging is a bad thing. I agree that in many situations bragging is not a trait that you want to be associated with. In fact, word association may yield terms such as arrogant, audacious and egotistical.
However, I’d like to a make the claim that while in job search mode, if going about it in the right way, “bragging” might just be the key differentiator between getting the offer and coming in second place. We all know what second place feels like in the interview process – no one remembers the bridesmaid, only the bride.
Talk About YOUR Accomplishments with Taste
The key here is to get clarity on your career accomplishments and get comfortable talking about them! Yes, there have been many articles written on how to verbally convey your accomplishments during an interview (for example, the STAR methodology: answering a question by articulating the situation/task, the action you took and end result).
Instead, the subject of this article is how to differentiate yourself by assembling a “brag book” as a leave- behind at the end of a job interview. The brag book is best used during the interview process and not so much during the networking process (a bio is a better bet while networking; see this article for more information).
What is a brag book?
It’s a collection of documents that demonstrates and validates your candidacy as a professional in your field of expertise. It is one stop shopping where you can reinforce to the interviewer that you are the real deal and not just a smooth talker! After all, if you are pretty good at interviewing – you have practiced a lot, you understand that every interview question falls into one of three categories (Do I like you? Are you motivated? Can you do the job?), and you answer these questions clearly and concisely using the STAR methodology – the interviewer will be impressed but may be wondering if you are all sizzle and no steak! The brag book shows that there is substance behind your interview answers.
The brag book should be a polished piece bound by a presentation binder (or similar item found in your local office supply store). It should include a table of contents. All documents should be in a similar font with your name, contact information and page numbers.