Tips for Writing a Killer Self Evaluation

Most businesses have employees write their own annual evaluations.  The supervisor then reviews it and determines if you met last years goals, helps you write new ones, and then decides on your pay increase. It’s normal to feel some trepidation and doubt when you evaluate yourself.

Am I being too humble or too haughty? Am I bragging, do I come across as arrogant? And how do I address my areas of weakness? Goals? How do I come up with those?

I’ve done this a few times now and have gotten the top raise possible every time.  Follow my formula and you will too.


  • Keep a portfolio folder

Stock it with documentation to support your self assessment. Print out positive emails from co-workers: Thanks for your hard work, great job with your presentation, we couldn’t have done it without you stuff. Include your emails to others where you’ve said yes to an extra assignment, filled in for a sick co-worker, or done something outside of your “normal”. Here’s some I’ve tucked away for my next evaluation.

Kathy, Thank you so much for trying to get me hours with her!  I will definitely contact her and use her as a resource in clinical practice.  I really appreciate you working so hard to get me these clinical sites.-Jane

Hi Mark, I am ccing Kathy Davis, our wonderful preceptor guru on this. Dr. JF
Kathy, thank you for the lovely salad and fixings!!!
and more….
Kathy, Many thanks to you and other faculty that have weathered through this with me. Your efforts and goodwill on my behalf is always heartfelt.
Always, Linda
Start your portfolio collection yesterday.  You don’t want to scramble.You need to prove your case. Ask for recognition from a team member or client. If you got a pat on the back or a sincere thanks for a job well done, ask if they could put it in writing.  A quick email, your institution’s feedback form, or if it’s a client on the phone, direct them to your supervisor. Be sure to get the person’s name, date and what you did for them.  Follow-up with your supervisor soon after to cement the positive encounter.


  • Review Your Year

Scan through emails sent and received to help jog your memory of what you have accomplished throughout the year. Look for examples of how you met your goals. Highlight the areas that you have improved on. Bet you forgot something that will really make an impression!

  • Choose your words wisely:

Use strong verbs and adjectives and objective terms of measurement when you describe your performance. Words supervisors like to see and use: priority, diversified, prepared, team, performance, adaptable, capable, perceptive, systematic, exceptional, distinguished, always, rarely, interpersonal, motivated.  Here’s an awesome source for sample statements any evaluator will find useful.


  • Always Set Reasonable Goals

Decide on ones you can complete, and if you didn’t meet them by the time of your evaluation explain why. Tweak them,  propose a plan of action and include a timeline for completion. Hint: write your goals on index cards and keep them handy as a reminder of what you must accomplish.


  • Think with the end in mind

Be proactive by being stellar at your job. Keep improving, never stop learning. Make yourself indispensable: complete tasks others forget: learn how to unjam the copier, make coffee, even if you are a slob, keep your work area tidy, come in early, sometimes leave late. Use deodorant and bathe. Breath mints.  Resist the urge to nod off during dull presentations. Offer solutions. Follow through on promises. Volunteer at work and in your community. Don’t gossip. Stay professional. Anticipate needs. Ask how can I help? Listen to advice.


Remember, this is your time to shine. Use grace, be diplomatic, be truthful and respectful of yourself. Even if it is opposite of your personality, forget modesty. In this competitive job market you have to be confident and toot your horn. Be your own best advocate.

And, now that you know better, be better.  Please share your tips in the comments.  I’d love to hear your advice.

More self-evaluation tips Here: