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Filling out a self-evaluation is about as enjoyable as finding out you have a last-minute meeting to attend 20 minutes before you clock out for the weekend. Despite their rotten reputation, self-appraisals have a few upsides. They make you take stock of who you are as an employee and may indicate to management whether you have a solid handle on how you truly perform. A positive approach with emphasis on growth, improvement and success makes for the best self-evaluation.
As much as you'd probably like to be a symbol of perfection in the workplace, let's face it... you're not. No employee is, after all,an your boss--the person who reviews your self-evaluation--knows it. Although you have weaknesses, don't be afraid to mention them honestly and demonstrate how you are trying to improve, For instance, if your sales numbers fell below company expectations, explain the steps taken to improve the numbers and track the progress.
Strengths and Achievements
Fill out your self-evaluation with confidence and hammer away at your strengths and achievements. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate what you bring to the table. Focus on meaningful achievements and strengths that have enabled you to perform at a high level and help the company. Justify their inclusion with numbers, reports or examples. Irrefutable evidence works best. For instance, if you want to tout your team building, discuss how you managed a project team that secured three major clients in the past year. That could also serve as an achievement.
Some companies may ask you to explain how you've grown since the last evaluation. Focus on new skills you've obtained, how you've taken on more responsibility and what you have done to improve as an employee. As with listing your strengths and achievements, be specific and back up your assertions with evidence. For example, suppose you're an assistant manager at a retail store and you want to show new ways in which you're a benefit to the company. You could mention how you've obtained your forklift certification to help out during worker shortages in the stock room.
Setting goals gives you something to aim for, which can lead to increased motivation and ultimately improve your performance. Most self-evaluations require you to list the goals you wish to achieve between evaluations or in the coming year. Set realistic and specific goals that you expect to achieve and that will provide you with a personal sense of accomplishment, while help your company in specific ways. Briefly explain what you'll need to do to achieve your goals. For example, maybe you want to bring in six new clients in the next six months. That means one client per month, which you could achieve by making more cold calls, visiting prospective clients in person, upping your social networking efforts and strengthening your online presence.
On a self-evaluation, many companies ask for your opinion on how management can better help you succeed. Timothy Butler, director of career development at Harvard Business School, suggests putting in your two cents even if your company doesn't pop the question. Detail the assistance from management that could help you improve--a sign that you are serious and making an effort. Perhaps you want more extensive training in a specific area or feel that taking a certain single-semester class at a local community college would better enable you to understand aspects of your job.