Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How to write self appraisals

Part of the review process in many corporations involves requiring the employees to write self-appraisals. Many employees do not know how to do this and wind up sabotaging themselves by turning in self-appraisals that are not helpful in advancing their careers. Once you understand what management is looking for, writing self-appraisals will become much easier and more beneficial to you.

Think about why management wants the self-appraisal. By writing a self-appraisal, you are doing your manager's reviewing job for him. You are providing him with a list of the things you did and did not do well throughout the previous year. Ideally, your manager should be able to cut and paste directly from your self-appraisal when completing the paperwork for your review.

Review the self-appraisal that you submitted last year. If the self-appraisal you wrote for yourself was well received by management, you will want to reuse much of the same information for this self-appraisal. If your self-appraisal was not helpful, remember what not to do this time.

Examine the job description for your position. Be sure to highlight the ways that you are fulfilling that job description.

Look over the company guidelines for writing self-appraisals. Most companies provide some guidance about what they want you to appraise. Follow those guidelines as closely as possible.

Focus on the positives. The bulk of your self-appraisal should be tooting your own horn. This is no time for modesty. Instead, let your manager know all of the positive things you did over the past year, reminding him of things he may have forgotten. Emphasis areas that you have helped to improve your department.

Downplay the negatives. If you are required to talk about areas for improvement, include how you are going to correct the weakness. For example, instead of saying, "Stop missing deadlines," say "Implement a new time-management system to facilitate meeting deadlines." Make sure you have already begun the new system before your review.

Ask for advice from trusted co-workers. Sometimes your co-workers will remember positive things you did on the job that you have forgotten. Include those things when writing your self-appraisal.

Type your self-appraisal in the format required. Many companies provide a form for writing self-appraisals. If your company does not provide a form, type the self-appraisal in a word-processing program.


  • Point out all of the things that you are doing well. Self-appraisals are your opportunity to remind management why you are an important asset to the company


  • Do not do management's job in pointing out your flaws. Let your boss figure those out herself.

Things Needed

  • Job description
  • Self-appraisal from last year