How to Write a Self-Evaluation

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By DeVry University

February 7, 2022
6 min read

Your manager asks you to write a self-evaluation as part of your annual review. Did you just feel a knot form in your stomach?

For many of us, writing about ourselves is difficult. We don’t want to brag, but we also don’t want to underrepresent ourselves when it comes to talking about our work. Below are some self-evaluation examples for work. These tips and tricks that can help you present yourself as a well-rounded, self-aware professional.

What is a Self-Evaluation?

A self-evaluation is a written, detailed review of your performance and accomplishments from the previous year. It’s also a chance for you to outline your strengths and weaknesses, as well as set goals to work toward next year.

Doing an employee self-evaluation can be insightful and beneficial for you, as they give you a chance to stop and reflect on what is important to your work life, what inspires you, what you’re proud of and what you’d like to improve. Evaluations can help managers get a peek at your thought process, what motivates you, what you enjoy working on or what type of management style you respond to.

What to Include in Your Self-Evaluation?

A self-evaluation is a unique document. No two are, or should be, exactly alike. How you arrange your self-evaluation should reflect what you feel is most important and each description can be as broad or in-depth as you’d like, though in general the more specific you can be the better.

Your self-evaluation should meet the following goals:

Identify Areas of Strength

Sometimes, it’s okay to toot your own horn. If you think you bring a calming, organized approach to solving stressful situations, you should include this in the description of your strengths. Other strengths may include being able to communicate clearly and concisely, delegating, conflict resolution, project management, honesty, being encouraging to your coworkers or providing background or clarity to complex data. Whatever you feel is your strong suit, express it with pride.

Highlight Your Accomplishments

A self-evaluation is a rare opportunity to openly talk about your achievements and why you’re proud of them. If you went above and beyond to help your team meet a deadline, say so. Doing so helps you and your manager recognize your work ethic and what parts of your job you excel at. Don’t forget to mention how your accomplishments also impacted the team or company as a whole.

Back Achievements up with Data

Stating that you helped your team exceed their goal is one thing, but saying you helped them exceed it by 25% is much stronger. Where possible, include quantifiable data to help emphasize your accomplishments. Keeping track of this kind of data throughout the year and having it ready when it’s time for your evaluation and can help make the process a bit easier.

Align Yourself with Larger Goals and Objectives

It may already be company policy to measure your performance against company or team-wide goals, but including a section about how organizational goals or values helped shape your approach to solving a problem, prioritizing tasks and initiatives or interacting with colleagues can help to demonstrate a team-player attitude and underscore your contributions to the larger organization. Back these up with data, if possible.

Review your Mistakes

Looking back on what went wrong over the past year can be illuminating. On a team level, it can give you an opportunity to tighten up processes, figure out what might have been overlooked or show that different resources might be needed next year. On a personal level, it can provide insight into skill gaps or highlight ways you can flesh out your experience and pursue advancements your career.

Set Goals for the Future

It’s all well and good to reflect on the past, but don’t forget to set goals for your future. Include goals for both your work and your professional development in your employee self-evaluation. If you’re able to, talk with your manager about setting personalized goals. Maybe you want to work toward a promotion or a career transition. Set up a plan for professional and personal milestones for the coming year and create a regular schedule to check in with your manager to accelerate or course correct if necessary.

Identify Areas for Growth

Growth can mean expanding your skillset or adopting new practices for improving your work performance. Reflecting on areas for growth demonstrates self-awareness and shows that you have the motivation and desire to improve your skills. For bigger or skill-related improvements, you may also want to sit down with your manager to create a plan on how to get you on your way to professional growth, whether it’s through taking on additional responsibilities or developing your skills through online classes.

Ask for Feedback

Have you ever gotten an accolade from a client or a colleague? Did you recently win employee of the month? Have you gone out of your way to help a coworker or stayed late to pick up the slack on a project? Ask someone you’ve worked closely with for a written testimonial about their experience working with you, what they think you excel at or how you’ve positively contributed to the organization.

Self-Evaluation Examples for Work

Even if you know how you made a difference over the past year, it can be difficult to put into words. Below are some examples of how you might write different sections of your self-evaluation:

  • Strengths: “In the past year, I’ve made a positive impact on the team by keeping close tabs on project timelines, restructuring schedules and providing guidance or assistance where needed. Doing so helped maintain morale, avoid burnout and decrease employee overwork while meeting our deadlines.”
  • Areas of improvement: “My two biggest challenges are time management and prioritization. I often feel as though I need to take on everything at once to avoid falling behind. To help find balance in my schedule, I plan to set aside blocks of time to work on specific tasks throughout the week and keep a ranked list of high and low priority items. I will check this list daily and reorganize as needed.”
  • Achievements: “I helped our sales team identify and prioritize leads that led to a 15% increase of their projected numbers, resulting in $28,000 of additional revenue in the first quarter.”

Looking for Ways to Grow?

Build your skills with education. At DeVry, we offer degree and certificate programs in six areas of study, including technology, business, healthcare and more. Many of our programs can be completed 100% online, so you can learn at your pace without taking time away from work or family. Classes start every 8 weeks.

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