Pharmaceutical Sales Brag Book – Paper or Digital?

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A pharmaceutical sales brag book remains as important today in the interview process as it was when this blog was originally written in 2017.  The difference? As with many things over the past year the pandemic has had an impact.  With remote interviewing the norm it is hard to leave-behind a brag book.  The need for an digital or online brag book has been accelerated as a result.

Posting a pharmaceutical sales brag book online can help set you apart from other candidates. A Harris Interactive survey said 37% of hiring personnel use social websites to check on potential new employees.  You can link your brag book to your LinkedIn profile or provide a link to the book on your resume.  The advantages to a digital brag book include not having to make expensive copies, easily shared, copied and customized, easier to keep updated and enables the use of a wider variety of multimedia capabilities like video and audio.  In the growing use of online information for your KPIs, it makes sense that your most important information is also digital.

Of course, the information needed in the pharmaceutical sales brag book hasn’t changed.  Here are your must haves.

Brag Book Purpose

  1. To sell yourself the way you would your product. To show the interviewer your communication skills, your ability to present clearly and concisely and your ability to sell their product is represented by your ability to do all of those things with your own brag book.
  2. Reinforces important points you need to make in the interview outside of sales successes. Proof of employment, bonuses and regular compensation can be included. A comprehensive brag book can also simplify and expedite questions that haven’t been asked yet like references and background checks.
  3. Can also be uses in your regular annual review process or to provide a rational for a raise.

Brag Book Quality

  1. Quality of your brag book presentation. Is the cover attractive? Are the contents easily accessible? Do you have a table of contents and tabs?
  2. Quality of your utilization of the brag book. Have you practiced how to present items from your brag book in your interview? Are you sensitive to the receptiveness of your interviewer to reviewing the brag book during the interview? Have you prepared leave-behinds or prepared emailed versions for pre or post interview sharing?

Brag Book Content

  1. Professional cover which includes your name
  2. Resume
  3. Table of contents. Everything in most recent first chronological order.
  4. Sales awards with corporate documentation, photos of trophies or plaques or of you accepting the awards. Photos of you on sales award trips. Notes of commendation for these same sales awards
  5. Sales ranking generated by your employer, preferably year-end ranking. Notes of commendation for sales rankings.
  6. Recent field trip letters from your manager if positive.
  7. Performance reviews if stellar. Only most recent 2 or 3. Include business card confirming your title with the performance review.
  8. Customer reference letters particularly if they are from the same industry as the interviewer.
  9. Marketing materials you helped to create.
  10. Certificates for completion of courses you’ve taken or college and grad school transcripts if 3.2 GPA or better.
  11. Paystubs confirming compensation and exceptional commission earnings when appropriate.
  12. Reference letters and/or reference contact information: name, title, email and phone number as well as detail on what your relationship to the reference is. Preferably supervisors.

Want to review your brag book and your job search with a leading pharmaceutical sales recruiter? Contact Nancy Ragonese, Smith Hanley Associates‘ Pharmaceutical Sales Practice Lead, at nragonese@smithhanley.com or 203.319-4315.

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