Excerpt from 3 Days to a Pharmaceutical Sales Job Interview by Lisa Lane
What is a bragbook?
A brag book is a must have for any face-to-face pharmaceutical sales interview. If you want to stand out from the competition and add credibility to the claims that you make in your resume, you should spend a little time putting a bragbook together.
The bragbook is a sales aid and no true salesperson should interview without one. Just as salespeople rely on a sales aid to sell the features and benefits of their service or product, you should have a bragbook to sell yourself to your interviewer.
What is the purpose of a bragbook?
A bragbook, if well-constructed and used properly in an interview, can add life and credibility to your resume. It can also help your interviewer remember more details about you when the interview day is done.
What do I include in my bragbook?
Take a look at your resume. Make a list of all of your accomplishments and then think about how you can document them in your bragbook. You want to include tangible evidence of as many achievements as possible. For some, this may be an easy task. For those of us who tend not to save everything, it may take some digging and may also require a few phone calls to get some of this information in writing.
Some ideas of what to include
- Notes from company personnel congratulating you on your most recent sales award.
- If you have a wall plaque that documents your sales achievements, make a copy of the front of it and include it.
- Performance reviews.
- Ranking reports that show your performance.
- Recent college grads can include college transcript with GPA, if a 3.0 or better.
- Letters of recommendation from previous employers, professors, etc.
- Certificates of completion of any special courses that you have taken.
- Photos of you accepting awards.
- Pay stub that shows your outstanding commissions with previous employer.
- Documented achievements that show your leadership skills or positions held.
- Business card that shows your previous job title.
- President’s club status notification.
- Photos of yourself at the president’s club trip.
How do I assemble my bragbook?
After collecting your documentation, take note of how many pages you have. Go to a local office supply store and purchase a sales binder with clear plastic insert pages (a.k.a. a pitch book). Pitch books are sold with varying numbers of pages so choose the size that will best accommodate your needs. Before putting your pages into the book, highlight the main points on each page in yellow marker. Assemble it in reverse chronological order with your most recent documentation first. You may want to tab your pages for quick accesses if you have a lot of information.
How do I use my bragbook?
When a question comes up about your accomplishments and/or achievements, answer the question and then refer to the sections of the bragbook that back up your claims. Use a pencil and refer to the highlighted points (you don’t want the interviewer to have to read all of the information).
Practice using your bragbook and remember where your information is located within the pages. The last thing that you want to do is fumble around for the information. Also, keep in mind that it is not necessary to show all your information. Play it by ear and if the interviewer is truly interested in seeing it all, by all means, brag away! If the interviewer seems uninterested, don’t continually refer to your book. The bragbook is meant to support and back up your verbal answers to questions. Don’t rely on it to answer your questions.
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