How to Write a Meaningful Self Evaluation (Tips & Examples)
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How to Write a Meaningful Self Evaluation (Tips & Examples)

One thing that we all don’t do often is give ourselves compliments (unless you’re a fearless and confident person). There’s never a specific national day that’s dedicated towards giving and receiving compliments. However, if we’re looking at it from a modern workplace perspective you’d be happy to know that there is a day specific towards something similar. In some workplaces it’s not necessarily a day but more of a ‘seasonal period’. This day or ‘seasonal period’ as most corporate workers know it as is called the annual self evaluation period (other terms you’ll come across to mean the same include; self appraisal and self assessment). It’s a time of giving ourselves an evaluation of our efforts and worthy accomplishments we’ve done throughout the year. It’s also a time about receiving feedback on our not so great achievements and using it wisely to see what we can improve on.

Why is a self evaluation important?

Apart from laying out on paper our efforts and accomplishments the sole reason why an annual self evaluation is important is to:

Back yourself up

When I say it’s used to back yourself up, it’s to be used as a referral when the conversation about your accomplishments comes up. Usually, these conversations follow with either a potential promotion or an unfortunate sack.

Majority of the time, our managers try to do their job well by keeping track of your accomplishments and responding to them with recognition and rewards. However, that only goes so far because they’re not as effective as modern technology such as HR software or HRIS. In saying so, managers can’t remember every single detail as to what you’ve done throughout the year. Bear in mind, they have more than one employee to look after – not just you!

So if you’re after that promotion or trying to prove your contributions throughout the year, a well-crafted self evaluation that is in line with a self-appraisal is in order.

Help you, help yourself

Without trying to sound philosophical, a self evaluation or self appraisal is meant to remind you what you’re capable of. At the same time, it’s meant to show you in what other ways you can perform better.

Think of a self evaluation as a diary that will remind you of what you’ve done and what else you have left to do. Majority of the time, those who can spot out their strengths and weaknesses on their own to analyse and understand are the ones who flourish in their self development.

If you’re on a journey to re-create yourself to be your best version, that annual self evaluation is necessary to help you to your destination.

5 steps to a well-crafted & meaningful self evaluation

Why it’s essential to have a well-crafted & meaningful self evaluation is so that you don’t come off a self-absorbed bragger. This is particularly important when you’re having a talk with your manager about your success throughout the year for that promotion. On a more self-destructing perspective, a well-crafted one will prevent you from being blind-sided from a false ego boost.

So how do we create a well-crafted meaningful self evaluation?

  1. Allocate Time to Write One

    There’s no use in rushing to create a self evaluation. It’s going to be messy, made with no conviction and on top of that it’s not presentable material for your back up (refer above to ‘Why is a self-evaluation important?’). A self appraisal is made throughout the course of the whole year, similar to how a diary is recorded – one step at a time.

  2. Be Brutally Honest

    Be honest about what your achievements were. Try not to over exaggerate them and present them in a light brighter than they were in your self evaluation. False claims and lies don’t get you far especially if you’re after that promotion – you’ll need to support each of these accomplishments in some way.

  3. Provide insight into you Successes

    A prominent feature to your self-evaluation is to highlight your successes. They could be little projects that together build up your ultimate accomplishment. Keep track and note of the small tasks you’ve done – you’d be surprised with what the list comprises of.

  4. Provide Insight into your Challenges

    Every success came with a failure – it’s the struggle we surpass to get to where we are now. Take note of the challenges that you confronted and point out what you’ve learnt as a result. This is the key. It’ll help you see your abilities in being persevere.

  5. Give Examples in Each Scenario

    Each of your successes and challenges have their own story to tell. Providing an example of each will remind you of that very point in time and the exact steps you took to get to the end result. It’ll also help your manager see the reality of what you faced as they picture it in their minds.


Self Evaluation Examples

Here are some self evaluation examples of key action verbs & phrases

  • Adapted: adapted a certain process to meet the company’s changing needs
  • Anticipated: anticipated a potential outcome and formulated an effective solution
  • Achieved: achieved a specific goal or accomplishment in 3 months
  • Clarified: clarified ambiguities in various groups’ understandings of a certain function
  • Coached: coached a new employee or struggling teammate that  resulted in specific outcome
  • Collaborated: collaborated with another department to meet a common goal in less time
  • Communicated: communicated a difficult position to those affected by it
  • Designed: designed a template for tracking certain data
  • Eliminated: eliminated redundancies in a particular process
  • Executed: executed management plan for changing a certain procedure
  • Implemented: implemented a new measure that saved company $350,000 per annum
  • Improved: improved employee engagement by 15%
  • Increased: increased sales by 20%
  • Influenced: influenced team members to support a new company policy
  • Initiated: initiated a study on how to eliminate some time-wasting procedures
  • Led: led a team of employees on a particular project
  • Managed: managed a group of interns
  • Mentor: mentored a lower-level employee from another department
  • Proposed: proposed a new way of handling a certain task
  • Recommended: recommended a solution to a common problem
  • Reduced: reduced unnecessary expenses by 25%
  • Spearheaded: spearheaded an effort to increase efficiency by 15%
  • Streamlined: streamlined a process to eliminate 5 unnecessary steps
  • Supervised: supervised sales team in sales manager absence
  • Trained: trained a newly hired employee in 7 processes

In a nutshell, if you’re looking to map out your journey through self evaluation and progress your career – look towards creating a well-crafted self evaluation or self appraisal. While many of you may not know it, you’ll learn a few things or two after you’ve finalised your self evaluation. Understand what I mean by beginning to do one as the new year begins.

Alexi Gavrielatos

Business Development at EmployeeConnect