How to evaluate your strengths & weaknesses for ultimate career success

Tips on Writing Self-Assessments for the End of the Year

As here self-assessment, also known as a self-appraisal or self-evaluation, gives employees the opportunity to share with their manager the work they have done since their last review, how they have performed on those tasks, areas they feel they can improve on, and what their supervisors can do to help them perform their job better. Given that many of the senior professionals we speak to have people responsibilities, we think tips on writing self-assessments are important to both the party reviewed as well as the reviewer.

The goal of a self-evaluation is for employees to remind employers about all the work they have done and how hard they have been working. Most managers usually have several people reporting to them, which can make it hard for them to remember exactly all the work each one has done.

While they might have a general grasp of the work their employees are accomplishing, the self-appraisal provides employees the chance to make sure their hard work does not go unnoticed.

It is also the perfect opportunity for employees to show their managers that they understand where their shortcomings are and what tasks they need to improve. Self-evaluations also give employees the chance to see if they have the same expectations as their manager about how they work and the results they get. If an employee’s rating differs in some areas, it highlights the gaps and forces a discussion about how he/she can meet those expectations next time.

Having said all of that, sitting down to write a self-appraisal can be a hard task. Despite knowing themselves and the work they have done better than anyone, employees can struggle to put it all down on a paper – and may wonder whether they should “blow their own trumpet or not.”

We researched this a little, and came up with some tips on writing self-assessments in a well balanced way:

  1. Be as factual as possible: Don’t just say “I am a team player.” Instead, give specific examples of when you demonstrated team spirit in some project.
  2. Be as objective as possible: Talk about real, tangible results that you brought about through your work. What difference did you make? How much did you contribute to the overall output?
  3. Be honest: Your manager is more than likely to know when a good job was done, so trying to highlight a project or task that was just okay won’t have much impact. Use your self-appraisal as a time to ask your boss for career development opportunities.
  4. Be professional: A self-evaluation is not an opportunity to bash anyone. Keep personal opinions to yourself.
  5. Keep an open dialogue: Use your self-appraisal as an opportunity to build your perceived value, distinguish yourself, and show how strong your contributions are.
  6. Ask yourself the hard questions: Think about what are your strengths and weaknesses. What can you do to improve your performance?
  7. Talk about your career map: Your self-evaluation should not be focused on just your job, but also on your long-term career plan.
  8. Stay positive: Ford Myers, author of the book, “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring” says that employees’ remarks should be 90% positive comments and 10% “areas for development” comments. Use this 10% to explain your own plan to grow and develop in specific areas.
  9. Ask for training: Once you’ve outlined the areas where you’d like to grow, ask for whatever type of training could help you contribute more.
  10. Ask for guidance, direction, and mentoring: Try opening a dialogue with your boss to set up a schedule for review and assessment. Try talking your boss into having meetings every month or so.

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