How To Perform a Self-Assessment (Definition and Example)

Updated October 13, 2023

Self-assessments are a great way to analyze your work performance and any areas for growth. You can customize self-assessments to include the criteria that best fit your life and professional career. If you're planning for the future or developing new aspirations, reflecting on your strengths, weaknesses, values and accomplishments can help you determine what goals to work toward next. 

In this article, we explain why it's important to do a self-assessment and share tips for conducting one using an example.

Importance of self-assessments

A self-assessment is a process through which you can learn more about yourself and measure your growth. You can perform self-assessments according to a variety of criteria, including development, skills and relationships. These are some reasons why self-assessments are important:

  • Better understand how well you're performing in your role

  • Grow intrinsic motivation for development

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses

  • Create reasonable and ambitious goals

  • Develop strategies for enhancing your skills

  • Gain recognition for improvement

Related: What Is Intrinsic Motivation? Definition and Examples

Best practices for conducting self-assessments

Conducting self-assessments on a periodic basis can help you meet your goals and improve yourself, which also provides benefits to your employer. Follow these six tips for writing an effective self-assessment:

1. Reflect on your accomplishments

As you sit down to conduct your self-assessment, start with your accomplishments. Think about any personal or professional developments, and if your manager set goals for you, describe the ones you've reached. Highlight any tasks or responsibilities you're proud of.

You can also mention the skills you developed that you believe make you a stronger employee. Consider how your achievements have impacted the entire company, as well. This allows you to understand the benefits of accomplishing your goals, which can help motivate you to continue meeting and exceeding more of your milestones.

Related: What Is Reflective Analysis? (Uses, Stages and Tips)

2. Remain honest

As you assess yourself, try to remain honest. Remember, your employer will be reviewing your responses and evaluating your progress, so it's important to show them you're able to provide truthful feedback. Being honest with yourself and realizing which areas you need to work on also demonstrates your willingness to learn and grow from past challenges.

Related: Integrity in the Workplace: Definition and Examples

3. Find ways to grow

Throughout your assessment, search for sections and points you can learn from. There may be challenging moments where you were unable to hit the goals you set for yourself. It's important to take these situations to heart and find ways to improve from them.

Managers typically understand when employees fall short of their goals, and they may examine the way you react to these disappointments. Use these moments to continue pushing yourself and to build strategies to ensure you hit your goals next time.

Related: How Failure Can Lead You To Career Success: Benefits and Tips

4. Employ metrics

It's easier to demonstrate what you've accomplished if you use specific metrics. Throughout the year, try to save information that shows you met a goal or accomplished a complex task. When it's time for your self-assessment, pull out these documents to easily log your achievements using numbers and other specific details.

Related: 4 Examples of Key Performance Metrics To Track

5. Keep it professional

Your employer or human resources manager will most likely be reviewing this assessment, so it's best to keep it professional and positive. If events at work are affecting your work performance, it's best to discuss these in person with your supervisor or an HR manager. Remain courteous and polite throughout the entirety of your self-assessment.

Related: 11 Tips for Practicing Good Office Etiquette

6. Use positive phrases

While you're writing your self-assessment, keep in mind any positive phrases that can show off the skills you've developed or improved upon since your last review period. For example, you can describe any of the following areas at length:

  • Communication

  • Innovation

  • Accountability

  • Productivity

  • Quality

  • Collaboration

  • Problem-solving

  • Decision-making

Related: Positive Thinking in the Workplace: Benefits and Tips

What to include in your self-assessment

Your self-assessment should highlight your strengths, any skills you'd like to improve and goals you aim to work toward. Common elements to include are:

  • Strengths: Responsibilities, skills and other tasks in the role that you are performing well.

  • Areas of improvement: Tasks or skills you can improve upon and a potential plan to do so.

  • Values: Areas of your role or the company you believe are important and any professional beliefs you strive to uphold.

  • Goals: Set goals regarding what you'd like to achieve over the next review period that will help you grow in your career, such as improving a skill set or becoming more confident in your current role.

  • Achievements: Accomplishments are previously set goals you reached during your time with the company.

Related: Career Values: How To Identify Yours and Cultivate Success as a Professional

Self-assessment example

Use the following example to help you craft a valuable and memorable self-assessment:

  • Strengths: I'm a quick learner who has gained knowledge and experience using our company's content management system and have effectively trained others on how to use it, as well. I have strong problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities and have used them to brainstorm new marketing strategies that have exceeded clients' expectations.

  • Areas of improvement: There are some meetings where I have trouble speaking up because I fear my ideas may not be very helpful. I need to work on being more vocal during meetings and expressing my opinions.

  • Values: I value respect for my team members and positive reinforcement. I believe in treating my team like family by finding ways to assist them when needed. I work to constantly meet my goals and quotas and request help when I'm having a difficult time meeting these milestones.

  • Goals: I will download a new task management application to help organize my tasks more efficiently and submit all assignments by deadline. I plan to improve my public speaking and interpersonal skills by speaking up more during meetings and clearly communicating my ideas.

  • Achievements: I built our company's social media pages, which gained a total of 2,000 followers in the past three months. I published three blog posts each week for the past three months, which increased our site conversion rates by 20%.


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