How to write the perfect self-assessment?

Discover 6 self-assessment tips and phrase examples to showcase your strengths, sound confident and move up in the long run.

Everyone knows how important performance evaluations are. While they are essential tools for maintaining great communications between employees and managers, you should also view them as a chance to examine the recent past and set goals for the near future.

Modern companies add a new mechanism: the self-assessment. In this instance, it’s the employee himself, not the manager, who analyses his work and performs a self-reflection.

You may think that writing a self-evaluation is a dreadful and intimidating task. But since it’s crucial for you, as an employee, we have put together in this article everything you need to know, from what exactly is an employee self-assessment, to what to refer to when writing it and a sample.

What is a self-assessment?

It’s not a test, as it may sound. After performing it, you won’t get statistical results that will indicate precisely what you are cut out to do the current job or another one. 

The employee self-evaluation is a method that allows the employee to learn about himself: about his skills, work-related values, interests, personality type, and aptitudes.

This type of performance evaluation is conducted by the subject: the employee, for the subject.

When thinking about the work-related values, you have to determine what are the ideas and beliefs that matter to you. Try considering: flexible work schedule, high salary, prestige given by your job, interpersonal relationships, leisure time.

You should also take a moment and consider your likes and dislikes since it’s an important factor in choosing a career and staying longer in a job. It is proven that people with similar interests enjoy the same kind of work. So if you like running, reading or cycling, include it in your self-assessment.

Your personality type will always influence your choice of career and your aptitudes are also an element to look at. But don’t make confusion: you may be, for example, a fast reader(as a natural aptitude), for you may not enjoy using this skill at work. You can develop other skills that will be of use at work.

Note: The employee self-evaluation is also known as the performance self-appraisal.
As part of the annual performance appraisal, self-assessment reports are a critical part, because it reveals to the supervisor how well an employee observes their performance within the business.

When to complete a self-assessment?

Most probably, your manager will ask you to do it prior to the scheduled meeting for the annual performance review. This will be used as a basis in the discussion and can be of great help in reviewing the employee’s work performance, career path, etc.

But you can also perform a self-assessment on your own if trying to choose a career. You will need to make an informed decision and this self-evaluation might be just the key!

Benefits of employee self-evaluation

When performed as part of the periodic performance review, and if done properly and with tact, it sends the message that this process of performance management is a team effort, and not the exclusive task of the manager.

For the managers, the employee self-assessment is the enlightenment moment when they can perceive how the employee sees himself within the team and the company. It’s also an opportunity for disagreements between employees and managers to come to light. And, of course, it can be seen as a chance for managers to see what drives the employees to do their job at their best. 

For employees, the importance is invaluable: it’s not just a chance to grow at your current job, but a chance to improve as a professional, by discovering your strengths, weaknesses and possible new interests.

The performance evaluation meeting can be shorter if both employee and manager conduct an evaluation.

The biggest research of all when I do a character is self-examination. You look at yourself and you ask, 'How am I similar to this person and how am I different?' Vera Farmiga

How to write the self-assessment

An employee self-assessment should constitute the opportunity to describe what have you accomplished during the review period. It’s your chance, as an employee, to show exactly what you bring value to your team, and the company, as a whole, by offering real examples of your achievements.

Here is a simple, but the comprehensive structure we suggest:

Section 1: Reflect on your past accomplishments.

Be sure to dedicate enough time to writing this self-evaluation, so as not to skip over some important accomplishments. 

Examine the self-set goals from the past self-assessment and the goals of the company at large. It’s important to show that you are always trying to meet the organization’s goals.

Make a list of all the work you’ve done throughout the past year: completed projects, reports you’ve outlined, conferences or courses you have attended. You can use your emails as a reminder of all the stuff you completed. Be specific, using vague sentences and not facts, will damage your self-evaluation.

Make this about you: don’t include your team’s achievements. You can demonstrate how you contributed to your team’s success. This is also the time to reflect on your struggles, identifying them and providing examples. Point out your growth initiatives, by showing your development process through the year and how did you reach your goals, despite your weaknesses. Show the manager that you worked on becoming more and more the employee your company needs.

Compile your feedback: whether it’s from your supervisors, colleagues or clients, every feedback is crucial. Mention it, as it shows how did it connect with your accomplishments and the areas where you still have room for improvement. It is also a good idea to differentiate yourself from your colleagues. Maybe some of your qualities have great importance for your team, such as the fact that you speak 5 foreign languages. 

Section 2: Back up your statements with proof

Reinforce your accomplishments: use the list you compiled earlier and make another one, of the work you completed as part of every accomplishment. Once you have it, write a summary using action verbs, such as “I trained a newly hired employee”.

Try to measure your results by using numbers, percentages or statistics. For example: “My customer pool increased by 20%” or “I have completed 4 surveys”.

If your actions are not always quantifiable, provide qualitative examples to back up your accomplishments. If the action you took is essential to the well-being of your team, statistics are not needed. For example, you can say: “I decreased the number of returned products, by implementing an automated apologetic message”.

Section 3: Set new professional goals

Go over your self-evaluation to see how well did you achieve the set goals of last year. Examine where should you improve and study your struggles.

Based on the examination done, you can now establish new goals for the upcoming year. We recommend not setting more than 2 goals. Be realistic do not set bombastic goals that require putting in overtime to get them done. Don’t forget that along the road you will need to show growth initiative.

It’s time for the discussion with your supervisor. Be prepared to explain everything you have written about and most importantly why did you choose that specific new goal for the next year. 

Your supervisor should offer feedback. If not, ask yourself for one. What could you do better or what other goals does he have in mind?

After receiving the feedback, you can finalize your self-assessment, including the suggestions or changes. You now have the updated self-evaluation you were so afraid of. Make sure you keep a copy of the document to check it once in a while.

Tips for writing the self-assessment

Since you know the basics, get to know how you can impress the managers with your annual performance review: 

  • Use facts: Be very specific when offering examples of your accomplishments.
  • Be objective: Refer to tangible results in the comments. Use numbers or percentages, as presented in the sample phrases below.
  • Be honest and critical: a self-evaluation is not only about successes. You also need to talk about the gaps you need to fill in, your weaknesses and your failures. Your supervisor will know to guide you towards success.
  • Talk about your career path: self-evaluation is not just about this job, the current one, but also about your long-term plans.
  • Be professional: This moment is about you, so don’t criticize colleagues or even the supervisor. Don’t them praise too much, either. Just keep it professional.
  • Ask for feedback, guidance, mentoring: Always keep the door open for a dialogue with your boss and try asking for meetings more than once a year.

Self Evaluation Performance Phrases

Here are some examples of phrases you can use to complete your self-evaluation. These type of comments will help you answer the forms in relation to questions such as productivity, quality of work, skills, tasks or problem solving activities.

Phrases with a positive tone

  • I am truly reliable and regular at work with a great attendance track record.
  • I have been appreciated on numerous occasions by the clients and managers for my impeccable time management abilities.
  • I always try to respect my colleagues’ time, that is why I schedule meetings in accordance with their schedule.
  • I strive to remain cheerful and positive most of the time during office hours.
  • I ensure to maintain great communication with both co-workers and supervisors.
  • I seek to add creativity to all my projects so that I can make them more interesting and accomplish the work on time.
  • I am capable of keeping my calm even when faced with negative customer feedback, with the intent to resolve the essential issues.
  • I am an engaged employee who understands not only my role but the larger mission and values of our organization.

Phrases focusing on your areas of improvement

  • I am aware that because I remain very focused on the task at hand, I may appear to be blunt at times towards my colleagues. I am working on it.
  • I am aware of the fact that time management is not one of my strengths. Nonetheless, I am consciously working towards it so that I can manage my time better.
  • I tend not to ask for help when I could use it. I will try to ask for support from my colleagues from now on.
  • While I am quite comfortable in terms of written communication, there is certainly room for improvement in my verbal communication skills.
  • I realize that I rely a lot on team effort. However, I am working towards it to ensure that I am able to participate equally or even more than my co-workers.
  • Customer relations may not be my strength, but despite that, I have tried to eliminate instances of negative feedback from the customers as much as possible.
  • While I am good at delivering results on time, I sometimes delay the process of following up with my clients. I am actively trying to keep a more steady contact with them.
  • I am aware that I am more practical than creative as an individual. I intend to take some art courses, in order to improve my creativity.

A successful self-evaluation is not one full of triumphs. You need to be able to evaluate the areas you need to improve and ask for help from your supervisors.

Hopefully, after reading our article, you are more prepared to write your self-evaluation. But wait! You need something to work on. This is why we offer a sample of a self-assessment form, for free. Since you already have sample comments with adequate phrases, you are all set.

Employee self-assessment template

As a part of the performance review process, use this form to review, describe, and evaluate your job performance over the past evaluation period. Share this form with your supervisor prior to your evaluation meeting for submittal with your annual performance evaluation for your file.

Download the Employee Self-Assessment Form in Word Format.

Employee self-assessment