A well-written self-performance evaluation is absolutely essential if you want to ace your next annual review -- and get the raise or promotion you're after. Many companies require their employees to review their own performances in the workplace as a way to measure their successes (and failures) in their current positions, and you can use this evaluation as a way to remind (or inform) management about the value you bring to your department, as well as to the company.
Give yourself plenty of time to compete the evaluation. Your professional performance-based evaluation typically comes due at the same time every year (usually at the time of your hiring anniversary), and you should get the appropriate paperwork from your manager well ahead of the deadline for completing the self-evaluation. Don't wait until the last minute to start your evaluation, or you will be forced to rush your thoughts and will, as a result, turn in an evaluation that is average at best -- and won't score many promotion points with management.
Make a list of your strengths, using specific examples to back up your claims. It's one thing to say that you're a good problem solver and another thing entirely to cite one or two examples of times in your current position when you used your problem-solving skills to resolve sticky situations. Don't worry about bragging; your boss is not likely to remember all of your accomplishments, so now's the time to show what an asset you are to the company.
List your weaknesses as well. Although it is difficult, acknowledging your weaknesses, combined with suggested solutions to make improvements, shows initiative in the eyes of your managers. Being able to spot vulnerabilities and identify solutions such as seminars or other training opportunities is an asset for any company and will help you move ahead of the pack.
Focus on results. Your employer doesn't care how hard you tried to show up on time to work each day; your employer cares if you DID show up on time to work each day. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you work hard or stay late every day; what matters most is what you accomplish during your time at work. Ask yourself how your work affects the company as a whole, and be sure to communicate the results you achieve on a daily or weekly basis.
Use specifics whenever possible. Instead of just saying that you played a role in increasing customer retention, take the time to do some research and find out more details. Did you suggest and/or implement a new customer service quick-response system that resulted in a 20-percent increase in your customer retention within 30 days? Be sure to note any specific accomplishments you had a hand in, positioning yourself as the ideal candidate for upcoming promotions.
Do a final review. Once you complete your evaluation, set it aside for a day (or at least a few hours) so you can come back later and look it over with fresh eyes. Watch for incomplete sentences, along with spelling and grammar errors, all of which can present a less-than-professional image to management. If you're not confident in your own ability to catch these typos, ask a trusted friend or colleague for help.