Self-assessments. Personal assessments. Performance reviews. Talent evaluations. Employee appraisals. Whichever one you call them, they are typically part of most companies' year-end process. However, figuring out how to write a self-assessment can be quite a challenge! One of the most challenging parts of the process is the actual "self-assessment" process.
First, you have to remember all the things you’ve done throughout the year. Then, you have to put them into a detailed summary to review with your boss. Even the most confident person can feel challenged when it comes to completing their self-evaluation.
The importance of writing a good self-assessment
You might be tempted to simply submit high-level bullet points. Or maybe you just want to copy and paste what you wrote in your evaluation last year.
Either way, you should know that writing a self-assessment is an opportunity for you to highlight the value you bring to your employer. This helps you stand out from the crowd at work too!
5 Ways how to write a self-assessment that shows your worth
Here are five ways to turn your next personal assessment into a work of art. You want it to truly reflect what you’ve done throughout the year.
1. Keep track of your work throughout the year
A big part of learning how to write a self-assessment is documenting your accomplishments. Starting right now, keep track of every project you’ve completed, the working groups you’ve participated in, training you’ve attended, etc.
That way, you'll have content to pull from when it’s time to consolidate your annual achievements. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write your personal assessment and coming down with a serious case of writer’s block.
As humans, we’re prone to discarding information we don’t use on a daily basis—even if it was a positive experience. That’s why you forget about that big project you led in January that received a lot of praise from your team by the time November rolls around. Tracking your achievements doesn’t have to be a big, elaborate process either.
A simple Excel sheet that lists the date, title/subject, who you worked on the project with, key outcomes, and any miscellaneous notes will be a huge help when it’s time for you to recall all the information you need for an amazing evaluation.
2. Highlight your strengths
For some reason, even self-assured and confident people become overly critical and self-deprecating when it’s time to write their self-assessment. It’s like all of your insecurities (and we all have them) come to mind when you sit down to explain how you’ve spent the past year at work.
It’s not that you should be deceptive, but you shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on what went wrong. Instead, talk about what you’ve done well. The lessons you’ve learned and what you’re doing to develop the areas that need work.
Your goal is to show your progression over the past year. The key to writing a self-assessment is to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.
3. Write a self-assessment that highlights your strengths
Instead of re-hashing every single thing you’ve worked on throughout the year in a boring, bulleted list, focus on creating a dynamic story based on your 3–5 major highlights.
Now that you’ve been keeping a list of all your accomplishments in your tracker, it shouldn’t be difficult to scan it and come up with those things you really want your boss to remember.
Your goal should be to pick achievements that show different parts of your skillset. For example, you could choose one thing that shows your leadership ability, which shows your technical expertise and shows how much of a great team player you are. (By the way, check out our articles on the best leadership books for women and top leadership lessons for women!)
Even if you’ve managed to complete 13 projects throughout the year, thoroughly explaining the top 3–5 will force you to focus on quality and not quantity. No one—not even your manager—wants to read a 3–page report on why you’re the best person on the team.
So it’s in your best interest to be brief yet compelling—especially if you want your boss actually to read the entire document. So, when writing your self-assessment, remember to make it pack a punch without being too lengthy.
4. Provide supporting information
For every key accomplishment that you mention in your personal assessment, follow up with the words, “for example.” This will ensure you’re not just throwing vague and non-descriptive sentences together but that you’re actually backing up what you’ve just said.
Using exact numbers and specific examples whenever you can provide additional context for your manager. That helps solidify your claims of how awesome you are. Proving your worth is how to write a self-assessment that makes you shine!
5. Ask for growth opportunities in your personal assessment
When writing a self-assessment, don't forget to include a part to ask for potential opportunities for growth.
Displaying an interest in developing more skills is a great way to let your boss know you want to grow your career with the company. For example, is there a training session or certification you are interested in?
Be sure to mention it after you highlight your accomplishments. This way, it's fresh in your boss's mind that you have succeeded in the past and have the ability to grow. Using this type of career strategy will give you an edge for promotions as well.
Learning how to write a self-assessment will improve your career
As you can see, writing a self-assessment isn’t something only an experienced writer can do well.
Following these tips, along with proofreading and spell-checking what you’ve written, will ensure you’re able to create a personal assessment that will make your manager take note of all you’ve been able to accomplish throughout the year.
Learning how to write a self-assessment that shows your boss how valuable you are will improve your career. Highlighting your strengths can boost your confidence and help you ask for a raise and get paid what you deserve!