How to Write a Self-Assessment

Updated 8 September 2022

A self-assessment can be an important tool in furthering your career. An in-depth analysis of your time at a company can help you keep track of all your accomplishments and help to shape your future. In this article, we describe what a self-assessment is, why it's necessary and how to successfully create one.

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What is a self-assessment?

A self-assessment, also commonly referred to as a self-appraisal or self-evaluation, is a way to reflect on and track your career progress, achievements and future goals. This action can be highly beneficial to you and your employer to understand the skills and accomplishments you have achieved and decide what to focus on in the future. Assessments also allow your managers or coworkers to professionally and honestly comment on your performance.

A self-assessment can keep track of any accomplishments your manager may have missed during their own evaluation. Managers who have an enormous amount of employees under their guidance do not always have time to pay attention to and review everything that every employee has accomplished.

You may also use your self-assessment to keep track of the projects you have completed and other achievements you can mention in the future. If you are considering asking for a promotion, pay rise or another form of recognition from the company, a self-assessment can be an effective tool for highlighting the reasons for your request.

Related: How to Ask for a Promotion at Work (and Get It)

How to write a self-assessment

Here are some important elements to include in any self-assessment:

1. Decide on appropriate elements to include

Think about what you want to get by writing this self-assessment. If this is to gather your accomplishments in a professional format to provide reasoning for a promotion or raise, include elements such as your accomplishments in your role, how you have achieved your success and how you plan to continue developing and improving in the future. If the self-assessment is for a yearly critique, request feedback from your manager or employer and list your strengths and weaknesses.

Plan out the timeline of events you want to discuss in your assessment. You can track your progress yearly, monthly or even weekly. Consider using a notebook, spreadsheet software or other recording methods to track your accomplishments as you achieve them. Examples with quantifiable results are an excellent way to prove any points you talk about in your self-assessment.

Related: How to Prepare for a Performance Appraisal

2. Provide evidence of your achievements

Try to keep track of your achievements during the year, perhaps by writing them on a list. Even the smallest accomplishment or project is worth writing down so don't be afraid to make note of everything you feel was a positive step forward in your career. If you have not made a list, take some time to review the projects and big assignments you have completed. Perhaps ask a colleague what they remember. Consider anything that affected how you work and your idea of what your job entails.

A good self-assessment is simple and contains specific examples that highlight your skills and benefits to the company. When you decide which achievements to really focus on, be sure they show your efficiency as an employee, your ability to learn new skills and how you fit in with the company culture.

Related: What KPI Stands for and How to Use It in Your Career

3. Give insight into your success

Reflect on how you achieved your goals when listing your accomplishments. Describe the projects that show your best work and emphasise those projects that have brought the most value to your workplace. Similarly, if you took part as a team with colleagues to complete a project, be sure to highlight that in your evaluation. Managers are sometimes only concerned with or aware of the results of a project, so this is your chance to explain the work that went into your accomplishments and what that means for the company.

4. Give examples of strengths and weaknesses

Along with analysing your successes, it's also important to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses specific to your role. Try to be as specific as possible about what you have done as an employee. For example, if you helped fix a client's problem that otherwise would have gone unnoticed without your initiative, elaborate on that in your assessment.

Besides your strengths, consider discussing your weaknesses. List your weaknesses in a way that highlights how you plan to improve upon them. For example, if you feel your presentation skills are a weak point in your performance, include it in your self-evaluation and how you plan to improve the skill.

Related: How To Create a Personal SWOT Analysis in 5 Steps

5. Discuss future goals

One of the most important parts of the evaluation is setting goals for the future. Creating specific goals can help you move to higher positions in the company or gain new skills. An excellent method to use when setting goals is the SMART method. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. For example, you may share your thoughts on how to cut down on overtime during the holidays or how you want to bring in an impressive number of new clients within a specific timeline. Setting clear and ambitious goals shows your supervisors you are serious about your position within the company.

Related: How to set goals for yourself (and why it's important)

6. Show how you've embraced company values

A self-assessment is also the perfect opportunity to showcase how your actions contribute to the company and the overall work culture. Explain your role's significance so that your supervisor better understands your dedication and contributions to the organisation's mission.

Give your accomplishments added context by discussing how they were in alignment with company values. To align yourself with your boss, frame your successes within the objectives that matter most to management, such as time management, organisation and teamwork.

7. Ask for feedback

It's also important to use this opportunity to request feedback from your employer or supervisor. Asking for your employer's feedback can offer you some insight into how they perceive your skills, accomplishments and overall performance. The feedback should benefit you and show your willingness to improve on behalf of the company.

Related: The importance of feedback (with types and examples)

Self-assessment example

Here is an example of a self-assessment for a salesperson:

Self-Assessment for Kim Green

Junior Salesperson

I have completed two years with Cards Inc. and I feel like my actions as an employee have benefited the company and me. My greatest accomplishment to date is my surpassing of last year's sales goals. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to increase my monthly sales record by 5%. I'm happy to say that I have increased my monthly sales by 13% and I have also reduced the wait time for clients by 5 minutes. My focus on customer service, and my ability to work under pressure, helped me achieve these goals.

At the beginning of the year, the company challenged my team to get clients to fill out feedback cards. Our original goal was to get 100 people to fill out feedback cards every month. I am happy to say that, on average, my team is getting over 130 people to fill out these cards every month. I think my dedication to the company and my ingenuity helped me reach these numbers.

In July, I had a tough issue with a customer that became a great learning opportunity. Her order was late and we overcharged her. After I heard her explanation, I apologised immediately for the delay and the way we handled it. I then realised the reason for the overcharge was a mistake on our part and I gave her a discount on future business to apologise for the late delivery. To avoid future problems like this, I began implementing a weekly client check-in so I could prevent the issues from happening again.

In the near future, I plan to improve my language skills by taking advantage of the company's language acquisition program. I feel that learning conversational French will really help me connect with more of my French-speaking customers.

I believe in teamwork and cooperation with other employees in the workplace. I show this by listening to the opinions of others respectfully. When disagreements arise, I try not to be an obstacle but a mediator.

I value respect and clarity between colleagues at Cards Inc. I believe in transparent communication between employees and management and welcome feedback on my work performance and my teamwork in the office. I feel well-suited to represent the values held by Cards Inc. by listening to clients and customers and trying to work things out when conflicts arise.

I am extremely excited to continue my work at Cards Inc. and looking for fresh ways to help the company succeed.


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