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How to Write Self-Appraisals

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Writing your own appraisal gives you the opportunity to evaluate the past year from your perspective, rather than your supervisor’s perspective. If you’re used to receiving an annual evaluation prepared by your boss, the thought of writing your own appraisal might seem a little overwhelming. To ensure your self-appraisal reflects all of your achievements from the past year, review project notes, reports, emails, letters and other supporting materials that document the work you performed.

Write a list of accomplishments for the first section of your self-appraisal. Use your supporting materials as a resource. Look for achievements that clearly demonstrate the value of your work to the company. For example, include sales numbers or mention that customer satisfaction survey ratings increased by 20 percent after you conducted a training seminar for customer-service representatives.

Highlight your noteworthy accomplishments with two or three sentences that briefly summarize what you accomplished. Choose accomplishments that showcase your special talents and abilities, such as increasing sales, streamlining procedures, exceeding goals or other notable achievements.

List one or two areas that need improvement. Discuss steps you took to correct any problems, rather than focusing solely on the details of the problems. Turn a negative into a positive by explaining how much you learned and what you will do in the future to avoid similar issues.

Describe your goals for the coming year. Consult your job description and your department’s strategic plan when you develop new goals. Decide what can help you do your job better, such as training or new software, and ask for those items when you discuss your goals.

Proofread your self-appraisal carefully before you give it to your supervisor. Although it’s important to check for spelling or grammatical errors, you’ll also want to make sure that facts and figures are accurate.

Request a meeting to discuss the appraisal. Bring supporting materials to the meeting in case your supervisor has any questions regarding the facts and figures included in the appraisal.


Your intangible achievements can be just as important as tangible achievements. If you served as volunteer mediator to settle staff disputes or offered assistance to another department, mention that in your self-appraisal.


Don’t blame your mistakes on other employees, even if they did contribute to the problem. Blaming others is likely to be construed as a negative quality by your supervisor and could affect her opinion of you. Keep the tone positive.