Help with writing a yearly performance review self-assessment?
November 16, 2005 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Help with writing a yearly performance review self-assessment?

I have done a few of these before and I always find myself dreading them. I know I did a great job this year but I am not naturally one to "sell myself" in this way and I find the whole process uncomfortable.

To frustrate further, my company uses an essay format for self-review rather than a rating scale. Example -

"Please provide your assessment of your overall performance. Include what you accomplished and how well it was completed. Cite your strengths and weaknesses, obstacles you experienced, challenges you overcame, new responsibilities you took on, new skills you acquired and anything else you feel is relevant."

Of course - the space for the response is about a page long, although I know I could use more space if I decided to.

Getting to the point - for all you managers out there - how much detail? I feel like I could go on forever about what I have done/learned/accomplished over the last year. Is short and sweet better or is this the time to really take your time and flesh out the year that has passed?

Do you go marketing style heavy on the "I'm Super!" or do you use a very matter-of-fact tone?

I do have the spot check for mid-year to assist and could just use that as a guide - but wanted a little feedback from manager type people.
posted by jopreacher to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Go matter-of-fact. Do you have a specific job description, or goals set out in your last review? Document how you met and exceeded these goals, and how doing so was beneficial to the company. Use numbers. Where have you shown initiative? How has your performance improved per the comments you received on your last review?

Yeah, I dread these too, but the trick is to show documented goals being met/exceeded, and your initiative to set new and improved goals for yourself. Extra points for turning a challenge into an unexpected boon for the company (life, lemons, lemonade, blah, blah, blah).

I'm super! Is hard to cite when you ask for a raise. Numbers are better. Do you interact with clients? Do they give you positive feedback you can quote?

Too much detail is as agonizing to read as it is to write--your boss knows what you've been up to, but a "highlights" reel is appreciated.
posted by CaptApollo at 5:19 PM on November 16, 2005

You should say something like "While I did many things, my top three accomlishments are:" and go into detail on only those. Quality and clarity is better than quantity. Cite teamwork, focus on the bigger objectives, and meeting deadlines. Be prepared to discuss other accomplishments, but I doubt they'll ask.

My best advice is to ask your peers about ideas for things you do poorly. Someone that you feel comfortable with.

A manager wants to see that you know where your blind spots are and are working to correct them. People that think they are perfect are the worst employees evar.

Believe me, a manager wants to see that you see your weakness and understand how you are trying to overcome it. You don't need to sweeten it up and say it is actually your strength.

Be honest and save your manager the pain of having the tough discussion of giving your difficult feedback. They will think much more highly of you if you are strong and courageous enough to bring up a real issue and discuss.

Nothing it worse than reading a glowing self-assessment of a staff member when they don't acknowledge any shortcomings. We all have shortcomings, but the people that openly acknowledge them and work to fixing them stand out like stars in the workplace.
posted by Argyle at 6:57 PM on November 16, 2005 [1 favorite]

Great answers - thanks :)
posted by jopreacher at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2005

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