Employees: tackling the self-evaluation

being questioned by a boardThe end of the year can be stressful with all of the holiday parties, last-minute shopping, end-of-year projects, major deadlines, and company reviews.

So it’s no wonder that when your boss sends you an email about your upcoming self-evaluation that you might find yourself rolling your eyes and thinking “Great, not again.”

Self-evaluations can be difficult. More often than not, we find ourselves cringing at the idea of talking ourselves up and coming off as arrogant. And when it comes to writing a whole report about how great we are (while still staying professional)? Well, let’s just say most people have a hard time figuring out what exactly they should say.

There is a way you can write about the great job you are doing at work without coming off as self-centered, however. Here are a few tips on how to tackle self-evaluation. Take a look:

Speak in facts and numbers. Rather than spending the time using descriptors like awesome, great, or amazing, why not let the data do the work for you? When speaking of your achievements throughout the year, talk about the number of clients you have pulled in, the amount of projects you have worked on, or perhaps the amount of sales you have had throughout the year.

There is no need to embellish it with how “incredibly awesome” you are. Just let the numbers speak for you. It’s easier to explain your accomplishments when they’re backed by hard data, and most managers will appreciate this approach.

Never over-embellish. The last thing you want to do in a self-evaluation is say anything that is untrue. If you worked with a coworker on a certain project or had someone help you pull in a client, then include them in the conversation.

You never want to say, for example, that you took the lead on a project when someone else was critical to seeing it through. Not only is giving credit to someone who helped you the right thing to do, but it’s also a great way to give positive feedback about other members of your team.

Admit your weaknesses. It might seem counterintuitive to talk about your weakness in a self-evaluation, but being able to admit your mistakes and shortcomings is an incredibly humble thing and something that many employers look for when they speak to their employees.

Remember, though, that over-embellishing can go both ways. It’s important to recognize where you slipped up and where you can approve, but there’s no reason to let self-deprecation take over.

Talk about your goals. You’ve talked about your key accomplishments and areas of improvement—now it’s time to talk about your goals. Part of this is assessing what you can do better the following year.

Yes, your employer wants to see you progress throughout your career, but what they want even more is to know you have a plan for the future. One way to show them is by including a goal list or success plan in your evaluation. Having that kind of self-awareness is a huge part of being successful.

Be honest. Above all, you need to just be honest. Self-evaluations should be more than just a way to get a raise. The end of the year is a really great time to take a good look at yourself and think about all of the things you have accomplished. It’s also a great time to map out what needs to be done the following year. As is often the case, honesty is the best policy, here.

What do you think? Do you have any tips for writing a great self-evaluation? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Health: Questioning Expertise [SEMINAR] via photopin (license)

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