P4P: Writing a Self-Assessment for Your Annual Review

Photo of employee viewing self assessment web page.

2016 Assessment Deadlines

Most non-represented employees will need to have their draft self-assessment completed by mid-April in order to allow schools, colleges and divisions to meet their deadlines.

Please ask your supervisor about your deadline.

By Staff
March 29, 2016

The launch of the annual performance review season means that non-represented employees across the Sacramento and Davis campuses are gathering information to write a self-assessment.

Lots of people feel overwhelmed by the exercise – worried they’ll be viewed as arrogant if they rate themselves highly, or that they’ll undercut themselves if they’re too modest. Consider this an opportunity to reflect on your performance and help your supervisor understand what you’ve achieved and how you have directly contributed to your department’s goals.

Here are some tips to help employees write a more effective self-assessment.

Tips for Writing Your Self-Assessment

1 – Don’t dread it, see it as an opportunity

Writing your self-assessment is a chance to remind or inform supervisors of what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve grown as a professional and overcome challenges during the year. After all, you’re more familiar with the nuances of your job than your supervisor is – especially if she manages a large group of people.

2 – Emphasize concrete contributions

When writing a self-assessment, focus on concrete accomplishments not just soft skills, such as how you get along with others, how well you communicate or how much initiative you have. Those are important attributes, but put those in context of what you achieved in the previous year.

3 – Focus on outcomes, rather than activities

Rather than counting the number of phone calls (activity) you handle per day, focus instead on how happy clients are with their contact (outcome).

4 – Be specific

Saying something was a success is not enough. Instead, demonstrate why it was successful. For example, the project came in under budget, ahead of deadlines, garnered praise from users – who called it “one of the best websites I’ve seen in a long time” and resulted in a 10 percent increase in employee approval.

5 – Don’t be falsely modest, but don’t oversell yourself either

Practicing self awareness is an important part of a successful annual review. Keep in mind that your supervisor wants a true assessment of the work you’re doing. She isn’t deterred by understanding your achievements, but be careful not to come across as out of touch with your weaknesses.

6 – Be honest about growth opportunities

The annual performance review is an ideal time to have a conversation with your supervisor about professional development. Don’t be afraid to be honest about an area or particular skill you’re struggling with. Use this opportunity to reflect on what’s going on and how you can improve. A good supervisor will likely bring it up anyway, so acknowledging areas for growth in advance will lead to a more productive conversation.

7 – Start thinking about next year

After you’ve gone through this exercise, it’s a great time to consider your goals for the next year. By reflecting on your achievements, and your desired growth opportunities you are in the best position to get a jump start on next year’s annual review.