What You Should and Should NOT Include On Your Brag Sheet

What Is a Brag Sheet?

So, what is a brag sheet? It’s similar to what it sounds like: a document where you list your achievements, strengths, leadership skills, professional experience, and other information that could be helpful to your recommender.

Think of your brag sheet as a more casual version of a resume, like a recommender reference guide. If you don’t provide one upfront, some of your recommenders may even request one!

How Brag Sheets Lead to Stellar Letters of Recommendation

Writing a brag sheet for a letter of recommendation is an excellent first step in the process. Most colleges request recommendation letters from teachers who’ve taught you in junior or senior year core subjects and your school counselor or official. Schools may permit extra letters from recommenders such as your boss, a supervisor at an organization you volunteer with, coaches, or anyone else you can speak about your character.

Getting into college can be competitive, especially if you have your heart set on attending one of the nation’s best schools. When you’re up against students with similar GPAs and test scores, qualitative application elements like essays and recommendation letters are crucial to help you stand out.

That’s where your brag sheet comes in. Brag sheets can help recommenders produce detailed and accurate accounts of why you’re an excellent college candidate. They provide them the insight they need on your character, personality, values, accomplishments, and plans for the future.

Brag Sheet Tips, Tricks, and Considerations

Putting aside your humility and listing all the wonderful things about you can be both uncomfortable and liberating. However, there are many ways to help your brag sheet shine and offer a detailed recommender reference sheet.

Brainstorm Before You Start Writing

It can be tempting to dive right in and start writing down everything about you that makes you so unique. However, you might want to slow down, take a breath, and brainstorm and organize your thoughts in a rough draft.

A rough draft is important because it ensures you mention everything you want your recommender to know while cutting through any fluff or information that they might not need. Above is all the information that you should put in your brag sheet. Write down each category that isn’t basic information, and write bullet points underneath that relate to it.

Keep It Organized

If your high school doesn’t have a template, you can use one from the Internet or create your own! Whatever you decide to do, ensure your version is organized. Consider the way professional resumes are structured: they’re easy to read and categorized in a logical flow.

Do the same with your brag sheet. While it definitely won’t look much like a resume, keep relevant themes together for better readability.

You Don’t Need Pages and Pages

On the topic of borrowing resume elements, your brag sheet doesn’t need to be a hefty document. While you might be tempted to give as much detail as possible, your recommender probably wouldn’t appreciate a 20-page essay about your life.

Try to keep your writing tight wherever possible. Ideally, your brag sheet shouldn’t be more than two pages unless your school’s template asks for more.

Organize Content in Categories By Importance or Relevance

When you fill out your information underneath your specific categories or questions, ordering them helps your reader get to the most critical content quicker. You’ll want to put anything most important or relevant to you at the top of each category.

Make Your Brag Sheet Accessible

When we say accessible, we mean easy for your recommender to read and access. As such, we suggest not handwriting your brag sheet. Type it whenever possible: this way, you can email a copy to your recommenders (typically in a PDF), as well as provide them with hard copies. It makes it easier for them to keep your information on hand, and they’re sure to appreciate it.

Edit and Review Your Sheet

Before you hand out your brag sheets, take care to edit and review everything you wrote. Ensure you edit your brag sheet for concision so everything is clear and there’s nothing that would confuse your reader. Editing spelling and grammar helps your brag sheet look more polished and professional.

Remember, taking care of small elements shows your professionalism, attention to detail, and makes it easier for your recommender.

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