Why Bragging Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

BY KRISTIN CONDON

Bragging about yourself is typically a taboo thing to do. Most people are not interested in hearing you go on and on about how great you are. However, if you are interviewing for a sales position, it is a completely different story. Not only are you expected to run through all of the amazing things you have done – the more you can share, the better.  In fact, it can also differentiate you from other candidates and help land you the job. In most interviews, the Hiring Managers or HR professionals look for you to provide examples when answering interview questions – they want you to back up what you are claiming. Most interviews incorporate Behavioural questions (Tell me about a time when you demonstrated XYZ) over Situational questions (What would you do if XYZ happened) as they are looking for examples where you have specifically demonstrated a key skill or trait they need.  The saying – “past performance is a strong indicator of future performance” – is very true and this is where a Brag Book comes in.

The great thing about a Brag Book is that it can incorporate both personal and professional achievements. An effective Brag Book should include specific highlights where you have been successful and rewarded for that success.   If you are driven, that will come through in all aspects of your life. Drive exists at 17 years old even when you may have no professional work experience and it exists when you are 70 at the end of your professional career.

The other great thing about having a Brag Book prepared is that it shows you came to win – and sales leaders love that. They also want to win and they want to hire people who are eager, who want the job they are interviewing for and who ultimately like to win.  It shows you are prepared, and it shows that you can speak to your achievements very easily – another sign of a good salesperson.

A great Brag Book can include any/all of the following:

  • Awards
  • Official Rankings
  • Excellent Performance Reviews
  • Letters, emails demonstrating how you go above and beyond and take initiative
  • Customer testimonials
  • Honours or high G.P.A. (if recent)
  • Volunteer letters
  • Certificates/ Personal development classes taken
  • Letters of Recommendations
  • Photos (receiving award, on award trip, etc.-  keep it professional and relevant)
  • Sports or Academic Achievements and Awards

A Brag Book is one tool in the tool box of how to best prepare for an interview. To ensure the highest chance of success, make sure to prepare, dress to impress and create a strong resume that sells you.