Here's What a Brag Sheet Is, Why You Need It, and How to Create One

As you may know, one crucial piece of the college application puzzle is the letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are a great way for colleges to learn more about you from an alternative perspective, and additionally, they help admissions committees to confirm that you are providing a true and honest appraisal of your abilities and your potential. A brag sheet is a great tool to help you navigate the process of letters of recommendation.

What students sometimes don’t realize about letters of recommendation at the beginning of the college application process is that teachers often accept the responsibility to write these letters for a certain number of students each year. Two things are important about this fact: 

  1. If you know that you want to ask a certain teacher, coach, or another relevant figure, for a letter of recommendation, be sure to ask as early in the year as possible to increase your chances of them accepting your request! 
  2. Because these recommenders are usually busy balancing work and other aspects of life, it is YOUR job to make the process of writing your recommendation as seamless as possible.  

So, you may be wondering at this stage of reading, how can I make the recommendation letter process easier? Cue the aforementioned brag sheet. 

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What is a brag sheet?

The brag sheet is essentially a variation of the resume that you create about yourself, your involvement, and your accomplishments. Not only is it used to help the people who are writing your recommendation letters do so with as much ease as possible, but it is also a guaranteed way to ensure that everything important about you is there for your recommenders to utilize.  

What goes into creating the perfect brag sheet? While each student’s sheet may vary depending on the activities he or she is involved in and accomplishments achieved, there are several must-haves that every student should add: 

  • Name and contact information 
  • Current GPA and any standardized test scores to date 
  • Intended major (if you know this!) 
  • Extracurricular activities you have participated in or currently participate in. Extracurricular activities include academic clubs, hobbies, out-of-school involvement, and sports teams. Under this category, be sure to include information such as:
    • A description of what the activity entails and your role (note: this is crucial to include regardless of how self-explanatory the activity may be - remember, you want to make the recommender’s job as easy as possible!)
    • How long you have been involved in the activity (e.g. September 2018 - August 2020) 
    • Any leadership positions you have taken on within the activity (e.g. captain of the basketball team) 
  • Any work experience you have had to date
  • Any awards, achievements, honors or recognitions you have had throughout your academic and extracurricular career (e.g. Dean’s List, Varsity Tennis State Champion) 
  • Your goals for college and beyond 

Ultimately, the goal of the brag sheet is to provide your recommenders with any and all information to help them write the best letter of recommendation possible. Therefore, if there is any other information about you that you think would be important for your recommender to know, the brag sheet is the place to put it. 

Now that you know everything your brag sheet should include, let’s talk about formatting. 

How to format your brag sheet

As we mentioned earlier, the brag sheet is, in many ways, similar to a resume. Therefore, consider setting up your brag sheet in the same concise and professional manner that you would for your resume. While no specific format is required or recommended, we have provided you with a few tips to help make sure you are on the path to success. 

1. Make it easy to read

The font and font size should be simple and legible. A go-to font/font size pairing for the brag sheet is Times New Roman or Arial, size 12. For the different headings on your sheet, you may choose to bold or underline those words so that your recommender can easily differentiate between sections. 

2. Cap it at one page

Just like you would for a resume, your brag sheet should be limited to one page of information. Therefore, try to avoid writing long paragraphs about any one activity or experience, and make sure you are including only the most relevant and noteworthy points that properly convey your goals and abilities. 

3. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Again, just like you (hopefully!) did for your resume and other portions of your college application, make sure to double-check your brag sheet for spelling and grammar errors. You don’t want your recommender to become distracted from writing about your amazing accomplishments after noticing a slew of easily fixable errors!

At this point, we have provided you ALMOST with all of the information about the brag sheet that you need to successfully write one. This post wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t leave you with a template of our own to help you get moving in the right direction. Without further ado, happy brag sheet writing! 

Brag Sheet for Letter of Recommendation

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