Saturday Morning Rounds January 25, 2020 - What is a brag sheet, why do you need one, and how to take yours to the next level

Posted by BossB, MD on January 25, 2020
BossB, MD

Saturday Morning Rounds
A weekly round-up of everything that captured our attention over the last 7 days

What we're reading

Boost Your Career: Try a Brag Sheet

In this SheMD piece, Dr. Barbara Hamilton lays out some best practices for how to create what she calls a "brag sheet:"

"... a list of positive comments from clients, bosses, colleagues, and anyone you interface with at work. It reads like a list of testimonials, similar to what you’d find on the back of a book. These snippets describe people’s experience with you. You can leverage these comments, by gathering them into a powerful document called a brag sheet."

We love this idea for more reasons than just the professional ones though! While the benefits of creating a brag sheet have been common wisdom in the business world for years, a lot of people underestimate the personal usefulness of such a document.

Have a bad day? Did an interaction or procedure not go as planned? Just feeling a little down or imposter-ey? 

Open your brag sheet and take a few moments to remind yourself of what you're like at your best and take stock the positive qualities that uniquely set you apart.

Dr Hamilton's article is a great how-to for building a brag sheet. In our "tip of the week" section we'll explore how you can build on that foundation and get the most out of the tool.

Who we're following

The author of today's article, Dr. Barbara Hamilton, MD (@TSuperheroine), is an author of a lot more than just a brag sheet how-to! On top of being a practicing interventional radiologist, she writes her own blog (Tired Superheroine), does public speaking, chairs the Women in IR organization, and is a toddler mom. We're so glad to have discovered her and can't wait to dig into her backlog of Twitter and blog content.

BBMD tip of the week

Just like our CVs, cover letters, and rehearsed talk-tracks, our brag sheets should be updated and customized every time we use them.

A brag sheet when you're applying for a private practice position would look different from one for academics. A promotion brag sheet different from a new role brag sheet. A leadership role brag sheet different from a provider brag sheet.

You get the idea.

How can you do this efficiently and effectively? Follow this 3-step process:

Step 1 - Build a brag FOLDER

Assemble every single brag-worthy anecdote that you can and keep them in a single repository

Step 2 - Do some digging

Read the job description of whatever you're applying for, read the mission and vision and values statements of the organization, read their recent press releases, read the bios and social media posts/articles of everyone involved in the decision - distill that all into some core themes and competencies required

Step 3 - Customize it

Select anecdotes and data points from your brag folder that will most effectively speak to the priorities of that specific institution and the people involved

This means that you can have your cake and eat it too - you'll always be able to whip up a simple and short (1-2pg) brag sheet, and it'll be a lot more impactful and tell a much more compelling story than a general one that you'd maintain for multiple purposes (also a good idea).

Want to take it even a step further? We thought you might you over-achiever.

You can actually use your brag sheet as a great way to prepare for interviews and negotiations - especially situational/behavioral interview questions ("tell me about a time when...") - by following the STAR format that we lay out in the Finishing School section of our curriculum:

Essentially, for every core competency or value that you identify as important, you'd want a story that can speak to your mastery of that quality.

Many times you'll find that one or two stories check multiple boxes for whatever specific role you're applying to. Those are your cornerstone anecdotes that you want to spend extra time polishing and be actively on the lookout to deploy.

Quote we're contemplating

How you'll feel after assembling your brag sheet/folder:

"If I was you, I'd wanna be me too" - Meghan Trainor

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Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!