How To Write An Effective Self Performance Review (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Jan. 19, 2021
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We’re all accustomed to the idea of being interviewed, taking tests, being examined, and ultimately having someone else evaluate us. We experience this all the time in the workplace.

That being said, when we get used to having someone else grade our performances, being faced with the opportunity to evaluate our own work can feel daunting.

You might worry that if you focus too heavily on your strengths and accomplishments, that you’ll come across as arrogant. On the other hand, if you point out all of your flaws, maybe that will harm your status in the workplace or cause you to appear too self-critical.

Even if writing a positive and productive self-evaluation can seem overwhelming, it shouldn’t be considered a burden. Instead, self-evaluations provide you with an opportunity to reflect and consciously keep you in tune with your strengths and weaknesses.

With that in mind, this article will outline why self-evaluations are important, as well as tips for writing an effective one. After all, boosting your performance review with a good self-evaluation can benefit the whole workplace.

The Importance of Self-Evaluations in the Workplace

Typically, self-evaluation is a standard part of the performance review process for employers. That means that in addition to the company’s usual evaluation of your work, you’ll also provide a self-evaluation.

The way the self-evaluation is presented can vary from company to company. Usually, you’ll receive some kind of prompt or form where you can answer questions and reflect on your performance.

Companies do this to gauge how you perceive your own performance and see how you’ll reflect on your contributions to the company before the evaluation.

You might wonder why companies do this if they’re going to evaluate you on their own terms anyway, but the truth is that your perspective is valuable to them.

Your self-evaluation represents your self-awareness, ability to remember important information, and process feedback, which tells your employers more about you than you might think.

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For instance, how you judge your performance can give an employer more information about your personality, work ethic, and habits.

Considering that, knowing the best ways to approach your self-evaluation can send your employer the right messages.

This is especially important when you consider that a good performance evaluation can secure your place at the company and potentially land you bonuses or pay raises. Who doesn’t want that?

Tips for Writing an Effective Self-Evaluation

While there’s no definitive template for writing the perfect evaluation, there are ways to gauge what your company is looking for, as well as certain themes you should focus on. These themes include:

  • Having a positive mindset. Regardless of how skilled and efficient you are as a worker, employers always like to see a positive attitude.

    When you frame your achievements as having a positive impact on the company or address your mistakes as a positive learning experience, your employer will view you as a productive worker.

  • Address company feedback. If your manager, supervisor, team, or any other co-worker has given you any constructive criticism in the past about how you can improve, it’s essential to address that in your self-evaluation.

    Showing your improvement in these areas will reflect your ability to utilize feedback and work with others effectively.

  • Remember company goals. Generally, most companies will outline their mission and workplace goals over a specific timeframe. When you address these in your evaluation, it shows the company that you remember important details and care about meeting its objectives.

  • Provide specific evidence. As with any evaluation, you’ll give a much better impression when you can offer specific examples of your successes.

    Further, if you can provide statistics, specific numbers, or any other measurable data, your evidence will be even stronger.

  • Analyze your top accomplishments. Don’t sell yourself short! When you’re writing a self-evaluation, you should make a list of a few of your most valuable workplace accomplishments.

    Outline these in your evaluation so you can show your employer your value to the company.

  • Represent your core values. If you value communication and time management, give some examples of how you show them in the workplace.

    When you have core values that your employer will like, writing about them will clarify that you have an ideal personality for the company.

  • Examples of reliability. Employers always appreciate someone who’s punctual, follows deadlines, and completes assignments consistently. If that sounds like you, show examples of your reliability in your self-evaluation.

  • Show honesty. Never lie on your self-evaluations. We all make mistakes, so do your best to own them without undercutting yourself.

With these tips in mind, remember that as much as you’ll want to focus on your strengths, you’ll also need to address at least some of your weaknesses as well.

Though you may feel anxious about bringing up your shortcomings, keep in mind that it’s vital to own your mistakes and show that you’re able to learn and grow from them.

Here are some tips for discussing your weaknesses:

  • Show growth. One of the best ways to bring up your weaknesses is to mention how you’ve improved. If you made a mistake a while ago, write about how you’ve grown by providing specific examples of that growth.

  • Set goals. Setting your own goals is always a positive. Express your willingness to improve by giving your employer relevant, timely, realistic, and measurable goals you plan to achieve going forward.

  • Outline a plan. If you can, provide a specific action you’re going to take to address your weaknesses.

    For example, if you need help learning more about a certain program your company uses, you could mention how you plan to attend a job training or meet with a mentor who has experience with that program.

When in doubt, own your weaknesses and sell your strengths. In doing that, your self-evaluation will give your employer a positive and professional impression of you.

Self-Evaluation Examples

Since effective self-evaluation statements can vary from job to job, here is a list of sample sentences and paragraphs that can guide you. Remember, highlight your strengths, address your weaknesses, and bring your core values to the forefront.

Bringing Up Your Accomplishments

When you mention your accomplishments in your self-evaluation, make sure to add specific numbers and examples whenever possible!

  1. “I decreased customer wait times by 15%.”

  2. “I helped my team finish our project over a week early.”

  3. “Over the past year, I’ve given exceptional customer service and maintained company standards. For example, even though our target score for mystery shoppers is at least 94%, I consistently received a score of 100%.

    Not only does that mean that I live up to company expectations, but also that I helped to maintain monthly paycheck bonuses for all of my co-workers.”

Communication Skills

For many positions, teamwork is an integral part of the job. If that’s the case for you, be sure to express your communication skills in your self-evaluation.

  1. “I enjoyed listening to my team’s ideas and incorporating them into our projects.”

  2. “When my new coworker didn’t understand how to create the proper formatting for sales documents, I took the time to show them how.”

  3. “Last month, there was an issue between two of my team members. Instead of letting that affect our project, I took the time to pull them aside and speak to them individually about their concerns.

    Afterward, I convinced them to meet together with me, and we had a productive conversation. This communication allowed us to complete our project in a timely and cooperative manner.”

Workplace Reliability

If you’re the type of worker who’s always sure to show up on time, takes your co-worker’s shifts when needed, and keeps everything to code, be sure to mention that in your self-evaluation.

  1. “I consistently clocked into work five minutes early and have no history of tardiness.”

  2. “Out of the 314 company and customer service emails I’ve received, I responded to all of them the same day I received them.”

  3. “In November, I had a weekend vacation planned. I received the time off, but a few days prior, one of my co-workers became very sick and had to stay home.

    They asked me if I could take their shifts, and I decided to reschedule my vacation so I could help. Because of this, none of us fell behind in our work.”

Addressing Mistakes

Even though you shouldn’t focus too heavily on your mistakes and weaknesses, you should still reflect on them in your evaluation. If you can, mention an improvement plan when you bring up mistakes or weaknesses.

  1. “While my customer satisfaction rating is 93%, I need to work on doing more follow-up calls.”

  2. “Even if I feel as though I have a lot of ideas to share with my team, I need to tackle my anxiety and speak up more often.”

  3. “During my first three months of work, I submitted a progress report that was formatted incorrectly. However, my manager gave me the opportunity to correct my mistake and re-submit it.

    I appreciated the communication and advice I received from my manager and put it to good use, as since then, I’ve had 100% accuracy submitting properly formatted progress reports and other documents.”

Showing Personal Growth

Nobody’s perfect. However, when you show worthwhile personal growth in the workplace, your employer will know that you’re a productive employee.

  1. “I enjoy staying up to date with the innovation in my field, and am currently reading ‘Advanced Accounting,’ a book written this year.”

  2. “I initially found our new programming equipment difficult to understand, so I sought out the help of a mentor. Now my coding efficiency is up 27%.”

  3. “I find it important to set goals for myself in the workplace. For example, after I failed to cross-sell at least 10% of our products to our customer base last month, I set a goal to cross-sell at least 11% of our products this month.

    With determination and clever marketing tactics, I succeeded and was able to achieve sales with 13% of our customer base.”

Following Company Protocols and Addressing Feedback

Completing a self-evaluation is a perfect opportunity to address any feedback you’ve received from your employer, as well as reiterate any company goals or protocols that should be in the back of your mind.

  1. “In keeping to the sustainability goals set by the company this year, I decided to implement organized recycling and compost bins in the staff room. This decreased our paper and plastic waste by over 15%.”

  2. “When my manager reported that we would be following different customer service protocols, I immediately practiced them so I could live up to company standards.”

  3. “Earlier this year, my manager talked to me about how my team members sometimes viewed me as unapproachable. He offered me advice on how to communicate with them, and I took this to heart.

    Since then, I regularly discuss plans with my team members, and my manager has mentioned that our projects seem more cohesive now.”

Final Thoughts

With all these examples in mind, you’re more than ready to write an effective self-evaluation. Remember, when you’re able to keep things positive, show why you’re a good worker, and express a willingness to grow in the future, your employer will see your value as an employee.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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