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Some companies use self-evaluations during the annual review period. In these situations, employees rate their own performances and write reviews for their managers. Writing a performance self-evaluation can be stressful, but learning how to do it well and making notes throughout the year can improve your job security. Keep a notebook in which you have a list that you update during the year with work highlights so you can refer to it at review time.
Managers usually add comments to the evaluation and make suggestions for changes. This process is meant to help employees better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
List Projects and Major Responsibilities
Write down your main projects and job responsibilities for the year. Depending on your job, you could write down, for example, the accounts that you were responsible for, the deadlines your were supposed to meet, the area of a store you were supposed to maintain or the items you were responsible for selling. If you have goals, list those, too.
List your accomplishments in relation to the projects, job responsibilities and goals. Remember that while you want to highlight the positive aspects of your performance, back up your claims with specific examples of what happened during the year. For example, you could list the number of sales you made, the rating of cleanliness of your store area or customer feedback statements.
Add examples of activities you performed during the year that weren't specifically tied to your goals and responsibilities. For example, you might have volunteered to help train a fellow employee. Good performance self-reviews cite specific performance examples that reflect the goals and job responsibilities.
Start Your Case
State your case for doing a good job and back up your claim by listing specific examples.
Edit and Submit
Once you have written a draft, set it aside for a day. Print it out and read it, looking for ways to improve it. Often when a review sits, out of mind, you can think of more work examples to list. Use a pen to make notes, then make the changes before submitting the performance self-review to your manager.
Don't write negative comments on your review about co-workers or your manager. These will reflect badly on you because it will appear you were unable to deal with them.
Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."