Whats a ‘Brag Sheet’ and Why Do I Need One for Work?

You did it. You hit send, and now, after requesting a “quick talk,” you’re on the boss’s calendar. While your email was short on specifics, you both know what’s up: You’re going in to ask for a raise, a promotion or likely both. While showing up is half the battle, it’s also about being prepared. So if you get the cold sweats before important meetings, here’s why you absolutely need a “brag sheet.”

Wait, what’s a “brag sheet”? Concrete examples are the best way to plead your case in a salary negotiation or job interview. A brag sheet is a rolling list of these examples you’ve been keeping track of—and regularly updating—for at least the last six months and, ideally, a year. It’s not a résumé or something you pass on, but it’s more like a cheat sheet to prepare for a big meeting at which you need to, well, brag about yourself.

So what exactly do I include? Think beyond your LinkedIn profile and get hyper specific on all of your wins, big or small. That can include being the biggest paper seller at your Dunder Mifflin to scribing the weekly company newsletters. And most importantly, try to quantify your success so your boss or interviewer can understand it better. Think: “I sold 5 percent more than the next guy,” or “I received positive feedback from multiple employees on how my newsletters helped build company morale.”

OK, so why write it all down? We’ll put it this way: You know who’s not going to remember that micro level of detail? Your anxiety brain the night before your big meeting. You know who will? Your brag sheet. Start one now. Your future self will praise you for it. 

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