53 Self-Assessment Phrases for Professional Development

Updated March 10, 2023

As you progress through your career path, you might use a variety of processes to evaluate your work and set goals for yourself. After a review period, you might complete a self-assessment, either for your personal use or for a meeting with your manager. Learning how to describe your skills, areas for improvement and goals can help you craft a self-assessment that reflects your qualifications and can help you progress in your career.

In this article, we define self-assessments and list 53 phrases you can use to describe your professional qualifications in a self-assessment report.

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What is a self-assessment?

A self-assessment is an exercise where an employee evaluates their work performance and states goals for the upcoming work period. While many companies provide employees with formal self-assessment forms, employees can also write their own informal self-assessments. Completing a self-assessment can be an effective way of analyzing your work habits and developing professional goals to help in your career path. You might complete a self-assessment once a year, once a quarter or once a month, depending on your company's policies and your goals.

Related: Guide To Self-Assessments (With Example)

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53 phrases for an effective self-assessment

Here are 53 phrases you might include in your self-assessment to show your progress and communicate your goals:

8 phrases about your previous goals

In many self-assessments, the first section of the document focuses on the employee's performance since their last assessment. They might reflect on previous goals and state whether they met these targets. In a self-assessment, including evidence of your achievements, like sales numbers or percent increase in productivity or efficiency, can show your manager your potential. Here are eight phrases you might use when discussing your prior goals in a self-assessment:

  1. "In the past [period length], I focused on [goal]. I met this goal by [explain what you did to achieve your target]."

  2. "I adopted new techniques to achieve my goals, including [work habits that helped you meet your targets]."

  3. "While I strove to [name goal] in this past employment period, I was not able to achieve it because [reason]. I plan to reach this goal in the upcoming period by [explain how you plan to meet this goal]."

  4. "I adjusted my initial goal because [reason] and was able to meet my adjusted goal by [explain how you met the goal].

  5. "I exceeded my initial goal by [amount]."

  6. "I strive to achieve my goals each day by [describe what you do to meet your goals]."

  7. "When I started in my position, I decided to improve the department's productivity rate by [percentage]. So far, I have achieved a [percentage] increase in productivity and plan to continue this trend of improvement."

  8. "While I set a goal of [name prior goal] in my last review, my job responsibilities changed significantly. I hope to define a more accurate professional goal for this review period."

Related: How To Write a Self Assessment

16 phrases about your work performance

In your self-assessment, you can address your daily work habits and strengths, along with areas for improvement. You might include statistics about your daily or weekly performance, especially if you work in a position with regular quotas, like sales or customer service. Here are 16 phrases you might use to describe your work performance:

  1. "In the past [number] months, I have led several strategic projects to improve efficiency in our department."

  2. "I consistently meet or exceed my sales quota, bringing the company an average monthly revenue of [sales number]."

  3. "I feel that my work embodies our organization's key value of [describe the company's mission or value] by [explain how your work shows this trait]."

  4. "My efforts increased our department's productivity by [insert percentage]."

  5. "On average, I have a [percentage] rate completion of my assigned tasks."

  6. "I use my manager as a resource, asking for help and guidance to improve my work."

  7. "Every day, I strive to improve my performance on one key task, like [example of task you're working to improve]."

  8. "While I fulfill the basic requirements of my position, I feel that I can assume more leadership responsibility in the team."

  9. "I hold myself to a very high standard of work quality, which sometimes makes it challenging to meet my project deadlines."

  10. "While I still sometimes struggle with difficult customer issues, I feel that I've improved in my ability to provide solutions that help our customers and improve their experience with our company."

  11. "I was proud to be recognized as [name of an award or certificate you received] because of my work [describe the project or task that earned you the award]."

  12. "I strive to represent the company in a positive way and show customers our commitment to [describe key value]."

  13. "When I commit to a plan or project, I strive to contribute meaningfully and fulfill my responsibilities."

  14. "I'm constantly seeking ways to improve my work performance and expand my knowledge of our industry."

  15. "During this review period, I volunteered for [number] projects that were outside my job requirements."

  16. "I often use conventional, practical methods for solving problems. While these methods often have positive outcomes, I feel that I sometimes miss opportunities to innovate and improve our programs."

Related: FAQ: What Are Self-Assessment Tools? (Plus Examples)

15 phrases about your performance as a colleague

A key concern of many self-assessments is the employee's ability to collaborate with colleagues on their team and in other departments. You might address your interpersonal and communication abilities, along with any areas where you want to improve your skills. While you might not have quantitative data for this section, you can use examples of successful projects or challenging group tasks to add more information. Here are 15 phrases you might use to describe your ability to collaborate:

  1. "I serve as a resource for my colleagues, providing assistance and guidance to help them succeed."

  2. "On my team, I promote a respectful and collaborative atmosphere, where everyone can share their ideas."

  3. "While I try to connect with my team members, our hybrid work environment sometimes makes collaboration challenging."

  4. "I've learned to use online chat programs and task management software to connect with remote colleagues and lead collaborative projects."

  5. "I prioritize clear communication with my team members, ensuring that everyone in the department understands our weekly and monthly priorities."

  6. "While I have improved in my ability to provide tactful feedback, I feel that I can learn more about conducting effective peer evaluations."

  7. "I strive to recognize my colleagues when they lead a successful project or achieve a personal goal, either by chatting them or submitting their name to HR for recognition."

  8. "In the past [number] months, I have taken on new leadership responsibilities, including [example of a leadership task you perform]."

  9. "While I feel that I have strong verbal communication skills, I feel that my writing communication might benefit from additional training."

  10. "I feel more comfortable working independently than in a group, which sometimes causes me to miss the benefit of my colleagues' experiences and skills."

  11. "While I've become more comfortable in online meetings during the past [number] months, I still find in-person meetings to be more accessible."

  12. "During this review period, I've expanded my project team by two employees, allowing us to complete projects with larger scopes."

  13. "While I excel at having positive conversations with my team members, I still struggle with disciplinary or remedial meetings and hope to improve my communication skills in difficult situations."

  14. "While I feel comfortable providing guidance for my colleagues, I sometimes struggle with asking them for help."

  15. "In group projects, I typically follow the leader's guidance. I want to become more assertive in these situations, especially when we're working on a project in my area of expertise."

Related: Performance Review Self-Assessment Examples

14 phrases about your future goals

Self-assessment exercises often end with a statement of the employee's goals for the next review period. If you submit your self-assessment to your manager as a part of a formal performance review, sharing your goals can show them your potential, which can help you negotiate for a raise or promotion. Writing your goals in a self-assessment is also valuable because you can use the document as a guide for the next review cycle. Here are 14 phrases you might use when describing your future goals:

  1. "During the next review cycle, I plan to exceed my monthly sales quota by [percent]."

  2. "I want to take on more leadership roles, so I plan to ask my manager for additional team responsibilities."

  3. "To improve my communication skills, I plan to read about nonverbal cues and ask my manager for feedback about my communication style."

  4. "My goal in the next review cycle is to respond to all client emails and phone messages within 24 hours."

  5. "I plan to work on my flexibility, so I can respond to changes in client orders more easily and provide better customer service."

  6. "To ensure that I can fulfill my job requirements while working on additional projects, I plan to be more strategic about the volunteer work I pursue."

  7. "To increase my skills and industry knowledge, I plan to enroll in a certification program from [certifying agency] with my manager's approval."

  8. "My goal in the next month is to become an expert in [industry topic] so I can serve our clients more effectively. I plan to read educational material and watch webinars on the subject."

  9. "I plan to work with my manager on some difficult client issues, so I can learn to resolve conflicts more effectively. My goal is to raise my customer satisfaction rating to [number]."

  10. "I want to use our online chat program more effectively, so I plan to ask our IT team to teach me about the program's tools and functions."

  11. "My goal for the next review cycle is to audit my client communication strategy to improve how I connect with clients."

  12. "Since I missed my improvement goal in this cycle, I plan to double my efforts to meet it in the next few months, with support from my manager."

  13. "To improve my close rate, I've asked a senior salesperson to listen to a few of my calls. I plan to work with them and develop an improvement plan."

  14. "I want to become more innovative in my approach to problem-solving, so I plan to share some of my processes with my colleagues to get their feedback."

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