How to Write a Brag Sheet to Improve Your College Recommendation Letters
💁🏽♂️ Brag Sheet Activity
Brag sheets showcase your involvement in clubs, your achievements, and/or your jobs. This helps support your recommenders. Schools sometimes have their own brag sheets that students fill out, so check with your guidance office.
The following questions are example questions geared toward brag sheets for academic teachers and guidance counselors. Please personalize and choose which questions you want to send to your recommender as part of a brag/info sheet! Do not overwhelm them with all questions.
For optional letters of rec, such as employers and research mentors, let them know why you chose them to ask for a letter of rec and any of the anecdotes that you share. These anecdotes should show your character, particularly outside of the school context. Remember you want to reduce redundancy, so you don't want all your recommenders to share the same exact information.
Anecdotes are always better than adjectives. Remind your recommender of certain stand-out memories.
Once you complete your questions, send your answers to the questions as a PDF to your teacher.
💡 Examples of Info to Give Your Counselor for Your Letter
- Adjectives and characteristics you would use to describe yourself
- Extracurricular, volunteer, leadership, and summer experiences
- Include any specific contributions you made to your activities
- Include any leadership positions you held
- Awards and achievements
- Academic strengths
- What you are interested in studying in college (it’s okay if you don’t know!)
- Which classes you enjoyed most in high school
- Potential career interests
🤔 Questions to Answer
Personalized to the teacher and class
- Start the PDF with personalized info and/or a short message with gratitude.
- What did you like most about the class?
- Why did you pick this teacher to be your recommender?
- What did you learn about yourself through this class and the teacher? How did you grow?
- What was the most meaningful takeaway from this class? Will this takeaway last with you in the future?
- What challenged you the most, in a good way?
- Describe any anecdotes and stories from the class, especially those that you and your recommender share.
- What are your intended career plans? Explain.
- What colleges are you considering? Please note ones that are early action and early decision. (Here, you can also include why you think these colleges fit you. For example, if you picked liberal arts colleges, why do those fit you better?)
- What do you hope to learn in college?
- What major(s) are you interested in? Where did this interest stem from?
- Describe some of your best qualities and give examples as to how you demonstrate these qualities.
- What is your philosophy on life?
- What are you especially proud of?
- What are some of your unnoticed qualities? (Provide an example.)
- What or who inspires you?
- Are there any extenuating circumstances that have affected you during high school? (Provides context and background. Examples include, but are not limited to: moving, illnesses, adversities, family challenges, accidents, etc.)
- What activities have you participated in? Note any leadership positions as well. (Include activities both inside and outside of school.)
- Which activities are most meaningful to you? Share any notable experiences.
- What awards have you earned?
- Have you participated in community/volunteer activities? If so, please share and be specific. What did you gain from these experiences?
- What are some of your hobbies?
- Share any part-time job and internship experiences, as well as any notable impact.
- Share any personal contributions to [your school]. (This helps your letter be different from students of other schools.)
- Describe any special programs/projects (research, extra work in a certain subject, selective programs, independent study, etc. - any standout factor!).
- What do you love to learn both in school and out of school?
- Have you experienced growth over your high school career? If so, please explain. (Share any difficult and triumphant moments.)