Whether you are a young professional or someone much more seasoned, you should have a brag book.
A brag book is similar to a portfolio, but it isn’t a resume. Your brag book goes beyond your resume to the next level to demonstrate the impact of your work and other people’s opinions about your work.
A brag book is essentially a collection of evidence to support you during a job interview, when applying for a promotion, or in an annual review meeting.
If you ever hope to advance your career, whether with your current company, or if you want to eventually move to a new one, you will be happy you have a brag book when the time comes.
What Should You Include in Your Brag Book?
- Annual review documents.
This is particularly helpful when it comes to noting praise for your work. And it gives you direction on how to improve in the future. If you do all the things you are told to in order to improve, next year’s annual review should be even better.
2. Projects you’ve been involved with.
Include roles you played in each project, innovations you suggested, and leadership. If the project won an award or went beyond expected KPIs, or led to other projects, make note of that as well.
3. Any PR you’ve received.
This can include talks you’ve given or podcast guest appearances. If you’ve ever been quoted in an article, or if you wrote a blog post or feature article, include those as well.
4. Copies of recognition and praise.
Be sure to include awards, testimonials, or emails thanking you for your help in your brag book. These will come in handy if you are ever asked for a reference or recommendation.
5. Examples of mentoring you’ve done.
Official and unofficial mentoring counts. Perhaps you helped onboard a new employee. Or trained an intern. Keep note of it in case you ever have to demonstrate collegiality or leadership skills.
Think of LinkedIn as an Electronic Brag Book
LinkedIn is a great place for an abridged, condensed, online version of your brag book.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for showcasing the best parts of your brag book to the larger, online community.
There are several built-in components on LinkedIn that allow you to ask for, and give recommendations. You can write articles and posts, and link to other sites that show your work. You can also list your skills and the major elements of your resume.
LinkedIn will be addressed in future episodes, but in the meantime, consider building your brag book and putting anything you are willing to share publicly on your LinkedIn profile.
This will allow you to build your personal brand and professional profile, as well as make new contacts.