Career Development

How to Write a Self-Evaluation With Examples

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Self-evaluations are an important tool in all kinds of workplaces to promote self-awareness, increase productively and encourage employees to set personal goals. Writing a successful self-evaluation that accurately represents both your strengths and weakness can be challenging. This article provides step-by-step instructions, examples and tips that will help you write high-quality self-evaluations.

Read more: Employee Evaluation Examples

What is self-evaluation?

In the workplace, self-evaluation is the process of examining your own performance. Self-evaluation involves considering your strengths and weaknesses and being self-aware of how they affect your activities at work. Many employers require employees to complete a self-evaluation once every quarter or once a year. Most self-evaluations include reviewing accomplishments, addressing mistakes and setting goals for the future. Self-evaluations are sometimes called self-assessments or self-performance reviews. 

Read more: Personal Goal Setting and How It Affects Your Work

How to perform a self-evaluation

Here are several steps to help you successfully complete a self-evaluation:

1. First, know your audience

The first step in writing a self-evaluation is finding out who is going to read it. Knowing to whom to address your self-evaluation will help you be more specific and efficient when writing. For example, if you know that a direct supervisor, who is already familiar with your work, is going to read your evaluation, you probably will not have to define any terms or provide much background information. However, if your evaluation will be read by the manager of another department, you may need to include more specific details or even a brief personal introduction.

If you are unsure of who will read your self-evaluation or if your employer intentionally withholds that information, you should try to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible. This may require eliminating jargon and using a more common vocabulary.

2. Second, list your accomplishments

The next step is making a comprehensive list of what you have achieved since your last evaluation. This includes any skills you have acquired, all projects you have completed and any company wins to which you contributed. Once you have your list, tailor it down to only the most relevant and significant. Your most important accomplishments are the ones that specifically benefited your team or the company at large. If you can prove your performance had a definite impact on others in the workplace, your self-evaluation will likely get a positive response.

When considering your accomplishments, try to find quantified data that can verify your claims. For instance, if you broke your personal sales record in the last quarter, it would be helpful to find out the exact number so that you can calculate how much your sales average has improved in the last 12 months. Including that figure in your evaluation will increase the impact of your accomplishment.

3. Third, comment on any challenges

In addition to summarizing your successes, you should also address any mistakes, challenges or shortcomings. Review specific areas in which you feel that you did not meet expectations. Avoid making excuses and instead, focus on how you plan to overcome your challenges. Whenever possible, frame your weaknesses as opportunities for growth. Acknowledging your mistakes and suggesting possibilities for self-improvement will help your evaluation seem mature and honest.

4. Then, set future goals

Next, you should set personal goals for both the short and long terms. Provide a specific overview of how you plan to improve your performance and overcome your weaknesses. if possible, include a general timeline or set deadlines for when you expect to achieve these goals. Establishing your goals in your evaluation will help you to stay accountable and motivated as you work toward your objectives.

5. Finally, give feedback

Finally, your evaluation should end with a paragraph that gives both positive and negative feedback. This paragraph is an opportunity for you to acknowledge other employees who have helped you during the last quarter or year. Mention them by name and provide specific instances in which their efforts contributed to you meeting a goal or acquiring a skill. There is nothing wrong with taking full responsibility for your own achievements, but it is always a good idea to recognize anyone else who also shared in your success.

Read more: Setting SMART Goals to Enhance Your Career

Examples of self-evaluations

Here are two examples of successful self-evaluations:

Example 1

‘In my first six months as a customer support technician for Anderson Electronics, I have held myself to high standards for customer communication and satisfaction. I believe my commitment to excellence can be seen in the results of my work. My team has an established goal for keeping all technical calls under 12 minutes in length. In the last three months, I maintained an average call time of 10.33 minutes according to my direct supervisor. I have also maintained an average customer satisfaction rating of 89% since I began taking unsupervised calls. That is only 2% lower than the average rate of 91% for more experienced employees with the same role.

I believe the greatest factor in my success has been my ability to absorb information quickly and to learn from my mistakes. My supervisor, Riley Nottingham, was an amazing trainer who was so helpful during my first four weeks on the job. Under his supervision, I was able to become extremely familiar with the company’s information databanks. Since I began making calls, I have never made the same mistake twice. I look at each and every call as an opportunity to improve my performance and to exceed expectations.’

Example 2

‘After reviewing my personal performance data from 2019, I have determined that my customer satisfaction ratings for the entire year are equal to: Q1 – 87%, Q2 – 86%, Q3 – 88%, Q4 – 85%. My total average for the year is 86.5%. That number is almost 3% higher than the department’s total average of 83.8%. My data entry error rate was 3.2%, the lowest in my team. The packaging and distribution team recognized my efforts in September for the quality, accuracy and clarity of the orders I submitted. As of last week, all of my customer orders were officially processed in less than 24 hours.

In regards to the areas in which I could improve, I will be the first to admit that I struggled when interacting with one of our distribution partners, Endsley Shipping. I found Mr. Wright, our contact within the company, to be unreliable and difficult to communicate with. I have made efforts to always send follow-up emails after every phone call to eliminate the possibility of miscommunication. I am still uncertain as to how to improve our professional relationship and stabilize our companies’ partnership. I would welcome any suggestions or guidance that you might have on the matter.’

Top self-evaluation tips

Here are some additional tips to help you write a self-evaluation:

  • Be specific. Provide data, figures and dollar amounts to back up your statements. The more specific you are, the more impressive your accomplishments will be.
  • Provide updates on past goals. If you set goals in your last self-evaluation, update your reader on your progress. Mention the goals you have successfully met and comment on the ones you still need to work on.
  • Focus on the future. If you feel that your performance has fallen short in any way, outline a specific plan for how you intend to do better in the future. If you feel that you have exceeded expectations, be sure to make it known that you would be interested in pursuing opportunities for advancement.