CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 08, 2015
version 7, draft 7

How to Write an Effective and Powerful Self-Evaluation for a Performance Review

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Presenting a well-written and honest self-evaluation during your company’s appraisal may earn you a reward from your bosses based on your job performance and make the assessment exercise productive for you and your bosses. Writing your self-evaluation helps you identify your accomplishments and challenges, focus on your behavior and evaluate your overall productivity throughout the year. There are simple steps you can follow to write a self-evaluation that reflects positively on your work without exaggerating the truth or undermining your achievements.

Understand your Job

Most of the time, you’ll undertake duties that do not appear in your job description. List your duties over a period and compare them with duties in your job description. The list helps you address all your duties and responsibilities, without limiting you to your job description. Listing such duties helps highlight your activities beyond your work and articulate your value in the organization.

Highlight your Accomplishments

List areas that your performance exceeds expectations, and provide supporting information; it can include figures, recommendation from your bosses or recognition within or outside the company. Highlight your achievements without making it look like you are better than your colleagues. Communicate humbly and honestly.

Speak of your Shortcomings

Approach your shortcomings as areas of improvement. Do not focus your attention on your weaknesses, rather highlight different ways you were able to rise above your weaknesses and steps you intend to take to overcome your shortcoming. Detail out plans you have to better yourself, for example, highlight classes you take to improve in a certain area and the impact it has had on you so far. Presenting your improvement plan shows your commitment to your job and drive towards being more productive.

Highlight Progress

Compare your performance presently with previous performance and highlight improvement over the years. Talk about the goals you set on an annual basis as an organization and department and highlight your contribution to their achievement. Details progress on pending projects and clearly state your plan and dates of completions. Your bosses will appreciate your accomplishments and ability to create a work plan, which shows that you take your work seriously.

Discuss Challenges

Write your day-to-day challenges and offer solutions your employer can implement to help increase productivity within the company. Do not be afraid of speaking up with challenges; however, provide solutions to avoid looking like a complainer. Highlighting problems with solutions helps your boss look at the problem objectively and take deliberate action to provide solutions. It also presents you as a problem-solver, a trait employer’s value.

Talk About the Future

Once you highlight your achievements, dedicate a section to your plans with goals you have set with your bosses, personal goals and your plan for the future. Write your individual goals without being direct. For example, instead of writing that you are looking to get a promotion, say that you would like to take on more responsibilities and take the lead on more projects.

Writing a powerful self-evaluation requires self-honesty. Take your time and be kind to yourself. Consult your supervisors or career mentor, and approach the process objectively.

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