Your Brag File and Your Resume
Your Brag File and Your Resume
Have you recently finished a major project at work (as a leader or team member, received recognition or a promotion, or finished a career-related course or certification? Then it is time to make an entry into your “brag file.” All too often, after some time has passed, we tend to forget past achievements and milestones. We downplay them in our minds as we move onto the next challenge. Yet, those achievements are the backbone of your resume.

When it is time to revise your resume for your next job search, you should reach into your brag file for the right achievements to impress recruiters and hiring managers. As a professional resume writer and career coach, I find that brag files help me to understand a client’s strengths and what new opportunities might be available based on those past achievements.

When you are updating your brag file, include changes in:
  1. The results of a project you led or worked on. That projected yearly savings of $200,000 may have actually become $400,000. That suggestion you made to your team members may have become the standard for your entire company.

  2. Your current work situation. Did you survive a merger or change in leadership? Were you transferred to another department or region? Has your title changed? Do more or fewer people report to you? Did you receive a promotion in an exceptionally short time? You should keep information about both the before and after situations.

  3. Knowledge you’ve acquired. This is often the hardest information to recall after a time; we tend to believe that we “always” knew what we know now and we forget our struggles to acquire that knowledge. A list of courses and certifications you have earned is a good starting place, but try to keep track of any major skill or body of knowledge that you master in the course of your career, even if the mastering was easy for you.

  4. The company you currently work for. Did your company expand or contract? How many employees are currently working there and what is its annual revenue? Did its main product or service, name, or location change?