Getting Promoted

5 Easy Steps To Create a Brag Book (with template)

how to create a brag book

Let’s face it, humble bragging is annoying and not recommended if you want to be seen as a leader. Real leaders understand the art of self-promotion.

And share their achievements with confidence. That’s where a brag book comes in. If you struggle to talk about your accomplishments.

A brag book could be perfect for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a brag book. And everything you need to know about them. 

What is a Brag Book?

A brag book is a compilation of your personal, professional, and educational achievements. 

It can help you keep track of your career growth. And guide you during promotion requests, salary negotiations, and job interviews. 

A brag book can also help you snap out of moments of imposter syndrome by reminding you of your wins. 

What Should be Included in a Brag Book?

A brag book should include achievements related to your professional goals, measurable data, and positive feedback you’ve received along the way. 

These achievements could include awards, project wins, promotions, educational milestones, military honors, and academic accolades. 

An up-to-date brag book can ensure that you have data ready to promote yourself should the need arise. 

What Does a Brag Book Look Like?

    A brag book looks like a scrapbook for your professional wins. It highlights your top career milestones in a way that’s easy for you to refer to when needed. 

    A good brag book showcases your success in a way that is streamlined, accurate, and detailed. 

    brag book infographic
    Brag Book Contents

    How to Create a Brag Book

    Now that you understand what a brag book is. Let’s discuss how to create one.

    Step 1. Get to the bottom of any feelings of Imposter Syndrome 

    Before you even think about creating a brag book. Address any feelings of being a fraud.

    If this isn’t addressed first, imposter syndrome will make you downplay your achievements or discredit your work. 

    Address imposter syndrome by challenging any limiting beliefs about yourself.

    To help you with this, I recommend using an exercise we teach at NetWerk® called the “Interrogation Exercise.”

    The Interrogation Exercise involves questioning any negative beliefs you have about yourself until you uncover the truth behind your insecurities.

    Here’s how the Interrogation Exercise works:
    Limiting Belief: “I don’t deserve a promotion.” 
    1st interrogating question to ask: What makes me undeserving of a promotion?
    Response: “No one recognizes my performance or contributions at work.”
    2nd Interrogating question to ask: What might be causing my co-workers to not recognize my performance?  
    Response: I’m shy and struggle with promoting myself at work. This could be why my co-workers aren't recognizing my contributions. 

    Continue this line of questioning with yourself until you uncover the real reasons behind your limiting belief. 

    Each additional question should bring you one step closer to the truth.  

    Most importantly, the interrogation exercise will require honesty and self-awareness.  

    Here are some questions to ask yourself to challenge your beliefs:

    ·                  Why do I believe this?

    ·                  What do the facts say?

    ·                  What else might be causing this?

    ·                  What proof do I have to support my belief?

    ·                  Did I assume positive intent?

    ·                  Is there a pattern here or is this just an isolated incident?  

    Get to the bottom of any feelings of imposter syndrome before moving on to the other steps.

    Step 2. Define what success means to you 

    A brag book should showcase accomplishments that align with your career goals. This is why it’s important to define what success means to you.

    This shouldn’t be confused with what success means to society or your family. If used correctly, a brag book can position you for opportunities that align with your definition of success.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re unsure what success means to you.

    Questions about Success

    1. What would bring me the most joy 10 years from now?
    2. Who do I consider successful?
    3. What can I learn from them?
    4. What aspects of their life do I admire most? 
    5. How important is a work-life balance?

    Step 3.  Write down your accomplishments 

    Once you’ve addressed your self-doubt and defined what success means to you. 

    The next step is to write down your achievements in your brag book. 

    Think back to what you’ve achieved in past jobs, internships, school projects, community groups, or volunteer work. 

    Make sure this list is specific, measurable, and relevant to your long-term goals

    And don’t hold back. Now’s not the time to be humble. Give yourself credit where credit is due. 

    To help quantify your accomplishments, here are some questions to ask yourself: 

    1. How many?
    2. What was the timeline?
    3. What did I reduce?
    4. What did I increase? 
    5. How often did I do this?
    6. How many people were impacted by this?

    Quantifiable data will help you showcase your value in a way that delivers the most impact.  

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    Step 4. Keep your Brag Book handy 

    Once your brag book is complete. It’s important to know when to refer to it. And to have your brag book with you when it matters.

    Here are some good times to refer to your brag book:

    1. Promotion request meetings 
    2. Asking for a raise 
    3. Salary negotiation meetings
    4. Job interviews
    5. Consultations with prospective clients 
    6. High-profile business meetings
    7. Company-wide all-hands meetings
    8. Pitching to potential investors 

    Step 5. Maintain your Brag Book

    Creating a brag book is not a one-time activity. To see the benefits, you must continue to maintain it over time.

    Update your brag book as your professional goals evolve and you have new victories. 

    Set a calendar reminder to update your brag book at least once a quarter. Here are examples of good times to update your brag book.

    When to Update Your Brag book
    1.	When you receive any new awards or honors
    2.	Once you earn a new degree or certification 
    3.	Anytime you meet or exceed a professional goal 
    4.	When you receive positive client feedback 
    5.	Upon successful completion of a project 
    6.	When you’ve gone above and beyond expectations for a project or role

    Brag Book Template

    Now that you know the 5 steps to create a brag book, now is the time to take action. Here is a simple brag book template you can use to get started. 

    Copy and paste this table into a document and save it to your computer. Then complete the table with your top professional achievements.

    AccomplishmentMeasurable Description Feedback Received 
    Win 1
    Win 2
    Win 3
    Brag Book Template

    Final Thoughts 

    Don’t let the fear of putting yourself out there cause you to miss opportunities. Hopefully, this helps you understand how to create a brag book and put it into action.

    Our Free Career Center can also help you with resources to boost your career confidence. 

    It includes guides, quizzes, checklists, and templates all designed to get you promoted. Head over now for instant access after subscribing!

    Over to You

    What’s going into your brag book? Brag to us in the comments section @netwerkmovement for a chance to be featured!  

    Remember, sharing is caring. Help us send this to someone struggling to put themselves out there.

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