If you’ve been searching for medical sales jobs for any length of time, you’ve probably already realized that the medical sales job search is a little bit different from job-hunting in other fields. For example, most job seekers are not expected to bring a professional brag book to job interviews. Candidates searching for med rep or pharmaceutical sales jobs, however, are not only expected to provide brag books, they’re often required to bring them! So what should you include in the all-important sales brag book? And how should you present the information? Read on for tips on how to make a professional brag book and how to use it in the interview.
How to Make a Brag Book
A brag book is a portfolio of documents such as letters of reference, ranking reports, and training certificates that document your professional achievements. What you include in your brag book depends entirely on what you have to brag about! Are you a recent graduate with a stellar GPA? Include a copy of your college transcript. Have you won awards for your performance at work? Include copies of award certificates or photos of a trophy or plaque. Do your former bosses have great things to say about you? Include their letters of reference or performance reviews. Here are a few more ideas for what to include in professional brag books:
- Table of contents
- Company ranking reports
- Performance reviews
- College transcripts (if applicable)
- Letters of recommendation
- Positive emails
- Marketing materials (that you helped to create)
- Continuing education certificates
- Photos of trophies, copies of plaques, award certificates
One of the biggest mistakes a sales rep can make is not saving company ranking reports and performance reviews. If you are let go or fired, you will likely no longer have access to these documents, so you want to save them as you receive them. Make copies of everything you want to include and scan the originals into your computer. Use the scanned documents to create a single file of your complete brag book. Don’t send it with every application, but once the hiring manager or recruiter has expressed an interest, you can let them know that you have a digital version available if they’d like to review it before the phone screen or interview. Create a hard copy of your brag book by inserting the photocopied documents into plastic sleeves and placing them into a folder or binder. Organize the information logically – use dividers if needed – and outline what the notebook contains in the table of contents. Be prepared to leave your brag book with the hiring manger or you can offer to send a digital version via email.
How to Use Your Brag Book
Once you’ve created a professional brag book that showcases your success, you’ll want to make sure it gets the attention it deserves so refer to specific items in your brag book throughout the interview. Hiring managers have trashcans full of brag books left behind by earnest sales people. The highlights you show them during the interview may be the only time the cover gets cracked so refer to it often, but only when appropriate. Use the information to back up your verbal answers. For example, when asked if you consistently met your sales targets at your previous job, you can point to ranking reports and performance reviews. If you are asked about your existing relationships with physicians, show them an appreciative email from a doctor that you’ve worked with. An impressive brag book can help set you apart in the highly competitive medical sales job search, but it’s not just the information contained in the brag book that can make an impression. How you use it during the interview can provide the hiring manger with a glimpse of how you will use marketing materials during a presentation to a doctor. So use your brag book to sell yourself the way you would your product.
Why You Need Your Own Brag Book
The best medical sales job candidates have hard numbers to back up their claims of greatness and brag books are the best way to provide that documentation. Create a professional brag book that accurately reflects your accomplishments and use it to show the hiring manager why you are the best candidate for the job.