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Strategies for Using a Brag Book | USAA Member Community

In my previous blog post, The Brag Book – a.k.a. I Love Me Book; we discussed the legendary book that’s all about YOU! I briefly shared what’s inside and what’s outside The Brag Book and provided the basic elements needed to put one together.


Here are some brief thoughts on How To Use The Brag Book:


First things first, before you attempt to use The Brag Book some things you should do:


  • Know each page in The Brag Book 360 degrees around. In other words, you need to know every detail of every page and know it deep.
  • Consider The Brag Book a power tool, not a crutch.
  • Be prepared to adjust The Brag Book as necessary.
  • Know when you should or should not use The Brag Book.
  • Continually look for ways to improve the use and content of The Brag Book.

What follows is a list of things to think about when using The Brag Book:


  • Know your stuff. This is a story about you and your experiences. As such, you should know the story better than anyone and it better show. Know it cold.
  • Check The Brag Book against your resume. Do they match? What’s missing? Is it consistent?
  • Make sure The Brag Book is neat, clean, and ready for showing.
  • Keep an eye out for things that need to be added or subtracted from The Brag Book. This might vary from interview to interview.
  • Practice! Practice! Practice! Even if you only show one page of The Brag Book, you need to have your story straight – one that absolutely hits the mark within the job requirements.
  • Share The Brag Book with a trusted friend and ask for feedback on how you explained each page. Remember, you need to feel comfortable with the content even though you might not share every page within an interview setting.
  • Be certain The Brag Book is appropriate for the interview and to what extent it needs to be utilized if at all. Be wise with The Brag Book.
  • Unless the job you’re applying for requires you to demonstrate your presentation skills using something similar to a 3-Ring Binder, consider the timing and proper use of The Brag Book.
  • Decide how to organize The Brag Book for maximum efficiency and ease of use. Use tabs to label specific jobs or consider organizing things in chronological order for easy access.
  • Use a pen to point out specific items on the pages of The Brag Book. If no pen is available, take a tip from Disney and point with both your index and middle fingers combined – apparently this is the most polite way to point.
  • Make sure what you share and what you say matches the specifics of the job. If you prepared appropriately beforehand, you know enough about the job to share the most impactful experiences that leave no doubt as to your ability to succeed and add value to the company.
  • Leave The Brag Book tucked into your briefcase until the time is right to share something of value.
  • Decide when is the best time to share The Brag Book: when asked to show examples of your work, after you’ve asked questions about the company/opportunity towards the end, or at the end of the interview when you’ve realized you didn’t answer a previous question so well. Timing is important and content is too.
  • Be quick to respond to any requests for copies of examples of your work, but don’t give so much info that you essentially pave the way for someone else applying for the job.

Remember, The Brag Book is a power tool! It is not the only thing you need to prepare for in an interview. You still need to be able to answer interview questions effectively. You still need to present a professional image and show value to the hiring manager. You still need to articulate your skills, abilities and convey a sense that you have what it take to make a positive impact at the company.
The Brag Book, when use effectively and wisely, can boost your chances of getting the job. Of the many, many things required to get hired, this tool can help you solidify the best choice for the job – YOU!


Have something to add to this article? Share your advice below.


Related article:

What is “The Brag Book”? (a.k.a. I Love Me Book)


About the Blogger:
Charles "Chazz" Pratt III is a former U.S. Army Captain who made the Military-to-Civilian career transition in 1994. In his book, The Fort Living Room Transition Course, he shares valuable tips and tricks to help you succeed. Since his transition from the military, he's worked in sales and marketing in the medical field. When not working or writing, Chazz enjoys spending time with his wife and kids as well as playing the saxophone. His goal is to provide unique perspectives on what happens before, during, and after the military-to-civilian career transition.



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