Many of you new to the pharmaceutical sales career search process may not have heard of using a brag book or interview portfolio to win the job. A pharmaceutical sales brag book is simply a way to support or prove the claims made in your resume and within the pharma sales interview.
Think of it this way: your interviewer doesn’t know you from Adam…so a brag book essentially validates and corroborates your story within the interview process.
In effect, your pharmaceutical sales brag book is a sales aid – similar to the detail binder that pharmaceutical reps utilize when promoting products to physicians. In the same manner that the detail binder backs-up, supports and adds credibility to a rep’s sales presentation, the brag book adds credibility to your resume and supports your assertions of skills, experience and accomplishments.
In fact, the brag book is considered such an essential part of the pharmaceutical sales interview that if you fail to create one…you’ll very possibly fail the interview. PERIOD!
Now, just as a pharma rep utilizes “features and benefits” to sell a product, you must think in those terms, as well. Your mission is to shamelessly sell your “benefits” (aka achievements) to the hiring manager, and your pharmaceutical sales brag book is the key!
Now, on to your next question…what in the world goes in my Pharmaceutical Sales Brag Book?
Begin with your resume; what achievements/accomplishments are stated? For every achievement listed in your resume, provide tangible evidence in any of the following ways:
College transcripts (make sure GPA is a 3.0 or better).
Notes from supervisors documenting achievements, or congratulatory letters.
Annual (glowing) performance reviews from managers.
Detailed sales reports – highlight your sales success in yellow.
Photos of awards (plaques) or copies of certificates/awards.
Letters of recommendation from previous supervisors or professors.
Photos of yourself on college/professional sports teams.
Copies of paycheck stubs that prove exceptional commission earnings.
Your current or previous business cards, complete with title.
Certificates of achievement for courses passed.
Thank you emails or commendations from colleagues or clients.
Now assemble all the documents, in addition to your resume and reference page (co-workers, supervisor’s names/titles/contact info), and organize in a logical manner. Next, go to your local copy store to have it spiral bound together (wire spiral) with a professional-looking cover. You may also wish to utilize tabs for the different sections, in order to quickly access during the interview.
How to best use your Pharmaceutical Sales Brag Book to your advantage?
It’s all in the presentation…
Your pharmaceutical sales interview portfolio, or brag book, is best utilized in the same manner a pharma rep would present to a physician. In other words, only the most important information (achievements) will be highlighted. Avoid hypnotizing/boring the hiring manager by going over it page by page. ~YAWN! Instead, utilize it in response to an interview question. If the manager asks you about your sales aptitude, provide a great example of your sales aptitude (STAR format) and back it up by pointing to the appropriate, tangible achievement in your brag book. Also, practice using your brag book in response to interview questions. Make sure you know the contents inside and out, so that you may effortlessly find the appropriate section within the interview.
Anne Marie Posegate – former pharmaceutical sales recruiter, teacher, corporate trainer, and current interview coach – has created one of the largest FREE pharma sales jobs [http://www.pharmaceutical-rep.com] information sites in existence…filled to the brim with candid advice and information about pharmaceutical sales careers.