Introspection is sometimes difficult for employees who are required to self-evaluate for their annual performance reviews. Evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses isn't always easy; however, identifying your goals and the resources you need to meet those goals can be rather simple. Give yourself enough time to prepare a well-written performance review based on examples of tasks you completed during the evaluation period. Review your performance for the entire year -- not just the past few months -- to provide your supervisor with an accurate, well-constructed self-assessment.
Obtain a copy of your personnel file from the human resources department. The human resources staff will inform you if there are requirements for requesting a copy of your file materials. Be prepared to submit a written request. Indicate that you need to review your file in preparation for your annual performance review to expedite the process. Read performance evaluations from the previous evaluation period, including any attendance records, disciplinary reviews and corrective action taken. Look for commendations written by supervisors and managers, as well as statements from your peers about your work habits and accomplishments.
Make a photocopy of the performance review form to use as your working copy. Review the questions carefully, and begin drafting responses about your job knowledge, technical expertise, transferable skills and personal characteristics. If your performance review is a narrative or essay format, address each performance area separately using two to three paragraphs for each set of qualifications. Devote two to three paragraphs each to job knowledge or technical expertise, transferable skills and personal characteristics.
Evaluate your job knowledge using examples of performance that required special skills, such as proficiency with computer software applications, use of clinical procedures or circumstances where you utilized expertise directly related to your position. Describe the circumstances during which you exhibited your expertise and knowledge, the outcome and an explanation of how you have improved in this area throughout the evaluation period.
Describe your transferable skills, such as verbal and written communication skills, organizational capabilities and aptitude for learning new processes or using independent judgment. Again, provide concrete examples of how you utilized these skills with respect to your job duties. For example, if you are a high-performing salesperson, describe your annual sales figures and provide details of how your communication and negotiation skills enabled you to accomplish your personal sales quota. In addition, mention how your sales improved your department's standing within the organization and predict your future sales based on past performance. Establish a connection between your performance and organizational goals to identify yourself as a potential sales manager.
List your professional goals, separating your personal career objectives from the organization's goals. Create an alignment between the two, and identify the resources necessary to achieve both sets of goals. A sample alignment between personal and professional goals is completing sales management seminars to improve your closing technique. Describe how training will benefit the company as well as the benefits of training for your own professional development.
Review your self-assessment to arrive at a succinct description of your performance. This should be no more than a short phrase that states the level at which you believe you performed during the entire evaluation period. Use phrases like, "outstanding performance," "meeting company expectations" and "needs improvement" to briefly state your job performance.
Edit your draft performance review. If possible, ask a family member or close friend to review your draft review for typographical and grammatical errors, and with an objective point of view. Incorporate the feedback into your review and prepare the final document.
If your employer does not have a form document, search the Internet for a template. There are a number of forms available, and you can blend components of two or more to construct a complete self-review.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, she is a certified facilitator for the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks 360 Assessment Suite, and is a Logical Operations Modern Classroom Certified Trainer . Ruth resides in North Carolina and works from her office in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.