How to Write Your Employee Self-Review

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Many employees dread self-review time. It can be an uncomfortable exercise as you assess and rate your own performance. With some preparation, honesty and a few helpful tips, you may find the self-review process to be less challenging and more productive.

  • Prepare throughout the review period. List and document your achievements and contributions. Include dates as well as notes on results.

  • Review directions, such as those in an employee handbook, in advance. If you have questions or there's no handbook, consult your supervisor or human resources manager. Find out as much as you can about the process ahead of time.

  • Know what your supervisor expects of you as you examine how well you have fulfilled your job's requirements. Consult your job description. Review past evaluations for areas where you needed improvement. Assess whether you meet job requirements satisfactorily, whether you've made progress on problem areas and where you've surpassed improvement and performance goals.

  • Check with trusted co-workers for their input. Someone might remember an accomplishment you overlooked or an instance of beyond-the-call performance.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to fill in the self-review. Don't rush. Take the process seriously. Being offhand about ratings and accomplishments could reflect poorly on your credibility.

  • Be honest in your self-assessment. Don't rate yourself too high or too low. Give yourself a "meets expectations" level of rating in any areas where you haven't been outstanding. However, give yourself appropriate credit if you truly shine in an area or two. On the other hand, even if you've been written up or have received coaching in a certain area, don't rate yourself too low. Usually, a mistake and reprimand don't overshadow your other work in that area for the entire year.

  • Maintain a positive, constructive attitude. Don't be overly critical of yourself or emphasize the downside of your performance. Accompany any acknowledgments you make of weaknesses with requests for additional training or coaching.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think of cause and effect when identifying your accomplishments. Be specific about results.
  • Be concise and use plain language. You're not being judged on your writing skills. Instead of lengthy, detailed paragraphs, break text down into bullet points.
  • Use action verbs instead of "I" statements, such as "Managed the new program" rather than "I managed the new program."

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