Employment Tips

Employee Self-Appraisal Tips
By:Christopher Hundley

Employment performance review time may stress you out, but don't panic. Your self-appraisal is a great way to prove your worth to your firm--your chance to promote yourself without dealing with office politics. An effective self-appraisal should be an assertion and evidence of your value to the firm, as well as a clear and compelling portrait of yourself as a professional.

List All Your Work
Before approaching the self-appraisal, list everything you have done, no matter how minute, since your last review period on a sheet of paper. This may be compiled from weekly reports you have submitted, emails, presentations or other collections of your work product. Be thorough, as this is the raw material for your self-appraisal.

List All Your Accomplishments
Using the list of all of your work, make a separate list of all of your work accomplishments: those projects and outcomes that had a significant, usually quantifiable, impact on the bottom line of the department or firm for which you work. Also, do not forget to include occasions when you averted the loss of dollars, by, for example, retaining an irate customer through solid customer service.

List Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Now, on paper, make a thorough evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Start with any weaknesses your immediate supervisor has called upon you to address between the last review period and this one. Then, continue to appraise your own strengths and weaknesses on paper. If it is feasible, ask a trusted colleague or mentor for an assessment of you to provide you with some objectivity and insight. If you are candid with yourself about your weaknesses, you are less likely to be surprised by your supervisor's comments. Now you are ready to start the self-appraisal.

Highlight Your Accomplishments
On the appraisal, first highlight the key accomplishments that are most significant by revenue--both your revenue-generating activity and cost savings. Proving that you are contributing significantly to the firm's bottom line will provide your firm with plenty of incentive to retain you and even reward you. Next, highlight accomplishments that demonstrate growth in a new area of responsibility. Demonstrating initiative is another reason for your employer to retain and reward you. Finally, approach ongoing responsibilities in a quantifiable manner, even when they do not directly generate revenue or reduce costs.

Address Your Strengths and Weaknesses
List your strengths and weakness in terms of recent accomplishments. Linking your strengths with your accomplishments clearly illustrates the value you add to your firm. By presenting your supervisor with evidence that you have addressed your weaknesses by achieving a goal that forced you to contend with said weakness, you show your supervisor that you take constructive criticism well and are dedicated to professional growth. This will likely offset your supervisor's assessment of your weakness, even if you have not yet turned that weakness into a strength.

If your self-appraisal includes a checklist of qualities on which you are asked to rate yourself, be candid. Don't select the same rating for each quality, or your supervisor may likely judge your appraisal as superficial. Make sure your ratings are consistent with your strengths and weaknesses as listed throughout the appraisal.

Future Plans
If your self-appraisal form asks what your plans are between now and the next review period, avoid listing things that sound impressive but that you do not intend to complete. Your supervisor may think you are a flake if you have not begun or completed some or all of your plans as listed on your self-appraisal.

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