3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Brag Sheet Question

I am sending requests for recommendation letters right now. What should I title my Brag Sheet? It seems a bit inappropriate and casual to title it "Brag Sheet", as the interaction with my teacher is supposed to be formal. Thanks!

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Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

I personally have mixed feelings about calling anything a "brag sheet" and think it would be better if you format your list of experiences, ECs, Honors, and achievements in a C.V. or resume format.

If the teachers you selected to be your recommenders know you well then they will not need this brag sheet. When you voluntarily supply a brag sheet you are giving permission to your teachers not to write a personal statement about how they actually feel about you as a student and give them the "out" rather to regurgitate what is already on the brag sheet or your common application. The result could be a very well-written recommendation that basically repeats everything the application reader already knows about you by reading your file.

According to the many books I've read written by former application readers and admissions officers, the best recommendation are those that share something special about the applicants that only the recommender can write in his or her own words without guidelines. In Becky Munsterer Sabky's recent book Valedictorians at the Gate, she writes that the best recommendation she read in 13 years at Dartmouth came from a school janitor who witnessed personal traits that he found to be most important in human beings. This resonated deeply with her as an application reader.

Therefore, according to the wise words of my own dad, "be careful what you ask for, you might get exactly what you wanted... and that may not be the desired outcome".

Think about it for a minute before you disregard what I'm saying. If your HS teacher has to write 25 to 50 recommendations for her former or current students, and all of them submit a brag sheet, isn't the path of least resistance for your teacher to skim through the brag sheet and just re-spin the brag sheet with some anecdotal evidence that he/she confirms what you already put forth? The pertinent questions are then, 'who is going to get the best recommendation from that teacher?' and 'how are you going to curate the best recommendation?'

This is something to think about carefully.

Good luck.

3 years ago

I would call it a resume and format it as one and just say that you're giving it to them to help them with the recommendation process as you know they are busy.

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