While clearly important, writing your professional self-assessment can be a struggle. Before you start copying from a template, you might want to consider the value of writing a genuine self-assessment response that reflects on your real contributions to your organization. Your annual self-assessment gives you a chance to think back on your biggest successes and failures of the year and discuss your career and professional future with your manager. If you are in HR, you likely spend so much time working on the annual performance appraisal process for others that you haven’t taken a moment to think about your own self-assessment.

Self-assessments may also have a strong effect on how you're perceived within your organization. Not only are they an important platform for taking a look back over your accomplishments and demonstrating clear communication skills, they go into your employee file, which is likely to be reviewed by company executives, HR professionals, and other managers whose departments you may move to in the future. Knowing that these self-assessments will become part of your employee record, it is important that they reflect your best efforts.

Professional self-assessments can help you build your career. Here's how to do it properly:

Below, we'll provide self-assessment examples along with tips and advice for reflecting on your accomplishments, identifying your failures and mistakes, setting new goals for the future and defining a path for your professional development. You can use these examples as an outline for responding to similar questions on your own self-assessment, or as a starting point for brainstorming what you'd like to include in your own responses. While the self-assessment examples provided are specific to certain jobs for added realism, you'll have to adapt them so they reflect the realities of your role within your organization.

Reflecting on Your Accomplishments

Every employee self-assessment should offer an opportunity to detail what you've accomplished during the performance review period. As an employee, this is your opportunity to demonstrate the value that you bring to the company using real examples of what you've accomplished in the past year. As you read through our self-assessment examples, you'll notice that while the facts and figures are all different, the examples all share some common elements that you should include in your own self-assessment:

  • Include facts and figures- Keeping a journal of your accomplishments and work results throughout the year can pay off when it comes time to write your annual self-assessment. Ensure that you can quickly draw on specific examples of what you accomplished and how you brought value to the organization. If your organization uses a performance management software or goal management software, you should be able to easily look back at your results and pull them into the self-assessment.
  • Be specific- Vague sentences in your self-assessment end up being meaningless to the reader, but if you can quantify your results with something specific, the reader can better understand the impact that your results had. Saying "I responded to customer inquiries in a timely fashion" is much less meaningful than saying "I responded to all customer inquiries assigned to me within 24 hours and assisted with other team members as well".
  • Rationalize results- If you're talking about a success that you had, explain how you achieved it. Write down who else contributed, how responsibilities were divided, or what extra steps you took to ensure success. If you took a special initiative to ensure the success of a project, this is a good place to document that. If you came up short on a goal, this is the place to document what you learned through that experience, and/or what resources could have lead to more success.

Self-Assessment Example: Sales Representative

"In my first three months as a sales representative for Acme Rocket Company, I have met and exceeded new hire expectations for sales performance. While I was informed during the hiring process that it usually takes up to three months for new hires to start achieving their monthly revenue targets, I was able to meet and exceed my personal revenue target in all of my first three months, selling 109% of my target in March, 111% in April and 105% of my sales target in May. The biggest factor in my success has been my attention to detail and responsiveness throughout the sales process. Between April and May, I responded to 92% of inquiries from prospective customers inside my territory within 24 hours, regardless of when or how the inquiry was received. The remaining 8% were responded to within 48 hours. My timely responses and attention to detail have resulted in a 78% closing rate for new customer inquiries and enabled me to exceed my sales targets in each month."

Self-Assessment Example: Marketing Manager

"When I began my role as marketing manager at Acme Rocket Company, my goals were to increase our exposure within the industry, expand our thought leadership and help Acme position itself as an industry leader. Throughout the year, I engaged my team members with three important goals: increase Acme's presence at industry conventions and trade shows, increase Acme's visibility at industry conferences, especially those with speaking opportunities, and to enhance our support of Acme's account-based marketing strategy by developing personalized white papers and research reports for our most important target accounts.

I am extremely proud of what my team and I have accomplished during the past year. Compared to the previous year, when Acme attended just 2 conventions and 1 trade show, we were present at 4 industry conventions and 4 trade shows this year, enabling us to further promote our brand, connect with important industry players, and generate key contacts for our ABM sales team. We also managed to book Acme speakers into three separate conferences, creating a huge platform for us to evangelize our technology and the customer service approach that makes us uniquely valuable for our customers. This included scheduling our CEO for a speaking engagement at the annual Space Commerce Conference that received over 10,000 live viewers on Facebook and boosted our social media following by 17% in two days.

Finally, our team produced 41 individual white papers and research reports for our target accounts this year. When our sales team sent these reports to prospective clients instead of a generic sales message, closing rates were 18% higher and revenue per sale was 41% greater. In total, these three initiatives have helped increase our inbound lead volume by 87% compared to this time last year."

Self-Assessment Example: Customer Support Representative

"In my first year as a customer support representative for Acme Rocket Company, I maintained high standards for customer service and responsiveness that have been reflected in the results of my work. Given the target of maintaining an average call time under 10 minutes, I maintained an average call time of 7:22 throughout the entire year. This was a full two minutes faster than the company average of 9:25. I also maintained an average customer satisfaction rating of 94% throughout the year, compared to the average rate of 90% for other employees in my role. Finally, I minimized escalations by achieving a first-call resolution rate of 95%, compared to the company average of 90%.

Together, these metrics demonstrate that I have consistently provided our customers with quality and timely service that exceeds their expectations and the requirements set by Acme Rocket Company. The single greatest factor in my success was the way I made use of Acme's internal resources, including training materials and internal contacts. I developed a deep familiarity with our knowledge base by reading it during less busy periods, and I spent lunch breaks interviewing reps from other departments about how best to answer customer questions related to their work. My growing expertise and familiarity with Acme's operations contributes to my quick resolution times with customers."

Reflecting on Your Mistakes

Throughout life, many people learn to strive for perfection and we may become afraid of making mistakes. In the real world, mistakes are part of life and people make them everyday. It's important to identify opportunities for professional improvement by analyzing your work, looking for times when you fell behind or didn't get the result you wanted, and thinking about how you can do better in the future.

A good manager will always frame mistakes as "opportunities for improvement". A mistake is an opportunity for you to identify something that you can get better at, and your manager wants to see that you can recognize when your performance isn't up to par and start identifying ways to correct it. Why is that so important? If you're seeking out a leadership role in the future, you'll be in charge of maintaining performance for a whole team of people. Maintaining your own performance is the first step to ensuring that you're able to do that.

Self-Assessment Example: Sales Representative

"Despite meeting my most important performance objectives during the past three months, there were times when I struggled with my job responsibilities. There were several occasions where I missed daily activity targets for lead generation and customer calls, something that should never be acceptable for someone in my role with a positive work ethic. In my view, those days represent lost opportunities to contribute even more sales to the team. While I did meet my sales targets by responding decisively to warm prospects, I could have enlarged my sales pipeline by meeting my outreach targets on a consistent basis. I am working towards improving my time management and scheduling to ensure that I consistently meet daily activity targets."

Self-Assessment Example: Marketing Manager

"Because of the ambitious nature of this year's marketing strategy, there were times when I pushed my team hard to perform at their best, put in extra hours, and deliver on highly demanding projects. In general, I am always patient and understanding with my team members about the challenges they are facing, but there were times this year when I was perceived as too blunt when giving feedback on work that a team member produced. While I would never compromise on my drive for results, it is important that I take the time to give more thoughtful and considerate feedback to members of my team. When we are working under the pressure of deadlines, I can positively influence the team attitude by demonstrating confidence and work ethic. I need to improve my emotional response to stress so I can set a better example for my team."

Self-Assessment Example: Customer Support Representative

"Although I demonstrated outstanding success in providing service to our customers over the past year, there were several areas of opportunity for improving my job performance. Despite my consistency in resolving customer issues, I was only able to successfully cross-sell our products to 5% of my customer base, short of my goal of 7%. Further developing my technical knowledge of our products will enable me to make better product recommendations for our customers, but I also need to understand more about how to communicate value propositions to our customers and help them realize when it makes sense to purchase more from us. I believe that additional sales training and education about our products would assist me in increasing my up-selling performance in line with company expectations."

Setting Goals for the Future

The most important part of your employee self-assessment is defining your goals for the future and discussing them with your manager. Your professional goals will fall into two categories: things you want to accomplish in your current role, and your goals for professional advancement into other roles. Your self-assessment is your opportunity to identify activities you'd like to be doing more of at work and talk to your manager about how you can move to a role that better matches what you actually enjoy about your job.

If you're going to spend more time in your current role, it's important to set specific and measurable goals for your future performance. Your manager should help you create a strategy to achieve your goals, but only if you're transparent about what you'd like to achieve. If you are interested in moving departments, you should also find out about opportunities for advancement within the company and state your intentions to move up if the right opportunity appears. Here's how to set goals for the future in a variety of roles.

These employee self-assessment tips are great for professionals who want to see continuous career growth!

Self-Assessment Example: Sales Representative

"I am excited to build on my early success as  a sales representative with Acme Rocket Company. I have demonstrated my ability to meet sales targets with quick and responsive service, and I believe that improving my time management will create more closing opportunities for me over the next year. My objectives in this role for the coming year are:

  • Achieve 120% of my cumulative sales target for my first 12 months of employment.
  • Meet my daily activity requirements with 90% consistency (currently at 75%)
  • Maintain a closing rate of 80% for new customer inquiries

While I have enjoyed success so far as a sales representative, I believe that my skills would be well suited to the position of sales manager. As a sales manager as Acme Rocket Company, I would lead a team of sales people, providing the training, support and tools required for them to succeed. I have always been passionate about the power of teaching to help others succeed and I believe that I could train new hires to replicate my early success with Acme Rocket Company using the knowledge, skills and insight I have developed in my time here."

Self-Assessment Example: Marketing Manager

"In the past year, our team managed to attend 8 conventions and trade shows, and secure speaking engagements at 3 industry conferences. In the coming year, we should optimize our strategies surrounding these important events to maximize our return on investment. Acme Rocket Company should continue to produce personalized marketing materials for its target accounts, a practice that has yielded significant ROI over the past year. In the coming year, my goals are to:

  • Increase measurable ROI on Acme Rocket Company's convention, trade show and conference participation to 40% through cost reduction
  • Increase inbound lead volume by 30%
  • Increase lead capture on company website by 50%
  • Complete training courses in leadership and constructive feedback

In the past year, I developed a further interest in marketing strategy and the work that our marketing directors do to determine how the company will invest our annual budget. In the future, I would be interested in learning more about how marketing strategies and participating in marketing strategy development for Acme Rocket Company."

Self-Assessment Example: Customer Support Representative

"In the past year, I was successful at providing fast and efficient service to our customers, but my sales numbers lagged behind my goal. In view of that, the biggest opportunity for me to improve my up-selling is by making it a focus of my professional development for the coming year. My goals for this year are:

  • Increase my up-selling percentage to 7% (currently 5%)
  • Achieve a first-call resolution rate of 95% or greater
  • Achieve a 95% customer satisfaction score based on providing exceptional service
  • Complete a sales training course
  • Complete a technical training course related to our products/business

As a customer service representative with Acme Rocket Company, the best part of my job is being able to provide exceptional service to our customers. Over the past year, I developed a genuine passion for products and brand, and I take pride in representing our company each time I interact with our customers, a quality I believe has driven my success in service. In the future, I hope to take on a management role where I can share my passion for Acme Rockets and help build a world class customer support department."

Summary

We hope you found these self-assessment examples useful in writing your own performance self-assessments. Or, if you are a manager, we hope these help your teams confidently summarize their hard work! Your annual performance self-assessment is an opportunity for you to reflect on your achievements and shortcomings during the past year and set goals for the future, including for your advancement within the organization.

When reflecting on your achievements, it's important to include specific examples and statistics that reflect your contributions to the organization. Give detailed explanations that include the what, when, where, why and how of your accomplishments, and include any feedback you received from management about your work throughout the year.

When you reflect on your mistakes, don't be afraid to be honest with yourself and your manager. An honest assessment of where you succeeded and failed shows a lot of maturity, and it's the first step to improving your performance in the future.

Finally, your self-assessment is an opportunity to set goals and plan your professional development for the future. Your manager can help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to advance in the direction you choose. When setting your goals for the year, think about what you want to accomplish in your current role and where you see yourself moving in the future. Thinking about what parts of your job you enjoy most may help you decide how you'd like to advance your career.

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Sara Pollock
Sara Pollock
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As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent hundreds of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.

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