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How to Write a Personal Evaluation

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Most employers require employees to complete a self-evaluation of their job performance at least annually. In most cases, the employee's immediate supervisor also fills out an evaluation, and the two evaluations are reviewed and discussed in the context of an annual performance review. Figuring out what to say when filling out a self-evaluation can be stressful even if you are a model employee, and is even more difficult if you have had some work-related problems during the past year.

Be Honest

Trying to pretend you are an ideal employee when you are not is generally not a good idea. It is perfectly fine to present yourself in a positive light, and even list your accomplishments, but it is also important to own up to your weaknesses rather than pretending they don't exist. Mentioning your weaknesses also gives you something specific to follow up on in the goals for next year or areas to improve section.

Be Reasonably Detailed

Don't just scribble down terse three- or four-word answers to the self-evaluation questions. Give the process the respect it deserves by writing out reasonable two to three sentence-length answers to each question. In general, it is probably better to err on the side of too much detail rather than too little.

Include Goals for the Upcoming Year

Most self-evaluations are divided into sections, typically including a goals for the next year or areas for improvement section. Make sure to include a list of at least two or three projects you would like to undertake in the near future, ranging from job-related trainings or certifications to a thorough cleaning up and updating of the sales or vendors database.

Proofread the Self-Evaluation Carefully

It is critical to take the time to thoroughly proofread your self-evaluation. A sloppy self-evaluation with spelling errors or other obvious mistakes indicates you don't care much about the entire evaluation process, and reflects poorly on your attitude. A neat, well-prepared evaluation is much more likely to be well-received and lead to the promotion or raise you were hoping for.


Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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