Self-Performance Review: How-To With Examples and Tips

Updated July 31, 2023

Image description

A man reclines at a desk while holding a pen. There's also a list entitled, "How To Write a Performance Self-Evaluation" that includes these items:

1. Make a list of your positive attributes
2. Reflect on your accomplishments
3. Reflect on your mistakes
4. Close with opportunities to grow

Performance evaluation is important to encourage professional development. While it's important to receive feedback from your manager, it's also beneficial to consider your own skills, achievements and areas for improvement. Learning how to evaluate your own abilities properly may help you grow in your career.

This article covers:

  • What a self-performance review is

  • Benefits of self-evaluations

  • What to include in a self-performance review

  • How to write a performance self-evaluation

  • Self-performance review template

  • Self-performance review examples

  • Tips for self-assessments

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What is a self-performance review?

A self-performance review is an evaluation tool that you can use to assess your work and job performance at a company. It allows you to identify how you succeed in your career and look for opportunities to improve. Many organizations include them as part of an annual review packet, but other organizations may require completing them on a more frequent cadence, such as monthly or quarterly.

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

Benefits of a self-performance review

A professional self-assessment is a written statement that combines judgments made by an employee about their own work, abilities and goals.

Shaneequa Parker, who serves as a compliance director for a New York City-based nonprofit, notes that self-performance reviews can benefit both the employer and the employee in a number of ways:

Employee self-performance assessments give employees a voice in the performance appraisal process, which helps to ease some of the stress that comes with it. The self-assessment can be modified to reflect the organization's goals, emphasizing an employee's specific role and highlighting key performance measures that the company would like to focus on during the evaluation cycle. Workers who participate in the process are more likely to accept the process's outcomes, be more content with their work, be motivated to grow professionally and be committed to the organization.

Additionally, self-performance reviews offer the following benefits:

  • Identifying growth opportunities in your field

  • Helping you set focused goals based on your areas of improvement

  • Encouraging you to identify and celebrate your accomplishments

  • Creating a communication channel between you and your manager

  • Allowing you to engage with your employer and understand your value

  • Preparing you for formal performance reviews

  • Providing evidence of your value to discuss with your manager

Related: What To Say in a Performance Review

How to write a performance self-evaluation

When writing a self-performance review, it's important to consider your audience and what they want to learn. For example, some employers may be looking for reviews that are based on work accomplished over the past year, while others may prefer a review that assesses your entire professional career. Regardless of the prompt, here are some good ways to approach your writing process:

1. Make a list of your positive attributes

To write a self-performance review, first, determine where you are in your professional career. A great way to approach this is to list out the positive attributes, unique qualities and professional skills you possess. Making a list of positive qualities alongside how you exhibit these in the workplace.

"Employee accountability rises when employees assess themselves and actively participate in reviewing their own performance reviews. During self-reviews, employees have the opportunity to explore and define their goals, assess their strengths and areas for growth and strengthen their commitment to their professional development and the company."

Shaneequa Parker, JD, MPA, MSW, CDE/CDP

Here's an example of how to list and describe your qualifications:

  • Work ethic: Process work in a timely manner while also taking on additional projects and assisting teammates with work tasks

  • Problem-solving: Work diligently to accomplish tasks when problems arrive

  • Innovation: Create efficient methods for handling workflow

Related: 15 Top Character Traits With Definitions and Examples

2. Reflect on your accomplishments

It's essential to include a section that details your accomplishments and positive attributes in your review. To do this, use the personal and professional skills you have written down to guide how you present your accomplishments. When writing, be sure to address the following:

  • Include facts and figures. From your list of positive attributes and accomplishments, lead your assessment with the things you have written down. Detail your accomplishments using numbers and figures to show the significance of your work and success, and consider including any degrees, certifications or awards earned that have contributed to your status in your professional field.

  • Be specific. When you quantify your results with something specific, the reader has a clear idea of your background, accomplishments and impact. Write in a way that includes the specifics of your job, along with what this means for you and your team as professionals.

  • Rationalize results. Explaining how you came to achieve success is just as important as mentioning the success itself, so be sure to include who else contributed to this success, how responsibilities were divided or even any problem-solving you had to do when things didn't go as planned. If you played a critical part in the success of a project, this is a good place to mention it, along with what it meant for your team.

Here's an example of how you might discuss your accomplishments in a review:

"As a member of this team, I have exhibited a great work ethic, problem-solving skills and a desire to create new, better ways to complete tasks. During the holiday rush, I came in early and stayed late to ensure each order was completed efficiently and supervised our annual project of shipping 2,000 orders during this time of year. Our team exceeded our goal with my new, streamlined charting system to track incoming orders more efficiently. By the third week of the holiday rush, we already met our goal, and we're on target to double our orders by the final week."

Tip: When highlighting your achievements, include what you achieved and how these accomplishments contributed to the success of larger goals to emphasize your value to your manager.

Related: How To Ask Your Manager for a Performance Review

3. Reflect on your mistakes

Considering your mistakes can help you identify areas in which you can improve. In listing your mistakes, weaknesses or areas in need of improvement, frame these as "opportunities for improvement." If you didn't meet a goal, explain why you didn't meet it, what you learned in not meeting this goal and how you plan to improve. Just as you listed your accomplishments, use this as an opportunity to highlight how you plan to be better or how you have already begun to improve.

Here's an example of how you may discuss making mistakes in your self-performance review:

"Because I am passionate about my work, I tend to take on many tasks at once and avoid delegating to other teammates. I've learned to be more mindful of my responsibilities as a member of this department. I try to prioritize and delegate my tasks better to avoid committing to too much work and falling behind on my tasks. If someone asks for help with immediate tasks but I don't have time, I provide them with resources that may be useful."

Related: Accountability vs. Responsibility at Work: Key Differences

4. Close with opportunities to grow

After addressing opportunities for you to grow, it's a good approach to mention opportunities you hope to pursue. Whether an advanced degree, a promotion or even aspirations of being the best at your job, mentioning these ideas and desires to your readers lets them know that you take your career seriously and are excited about your future professionally. Keeping the focus on you and the positive ways you impact your role, explain how you feel your role can or has helped you with your professional development.

Self-performance reviews provide a first-person perspective of an employee's objectives, motivations and performance when used as a self-reflection tool rather than a self-rating tool. Employers can use these benchmarks to create goals, make improvements, and plan strategically. Furthermore, it makes it possible for managers and employees to establish more productive working relationships.

Shaneequa Parker, JD, MPA, MSW, CDE/CDP

Here's an example of how you may discuss career growth opportunities in your self-evaluation:

"An ambitious self-starter, I intend to grow in this position and use my knowledge to learn as much as possible about the hospitality field. I am heavily considering earning a master's degree in hospitality management to be better at my job and further improve my existing skill set. As I learn and grow, I hope to own a business in this field one day, and treasure the experience I've gained from this position as a result of this pursuit."

Related: How To Talk To Your Boss About Career Advancement in 9 Steps

Self-performance review template

In a self-evaluation review, you’ll likely be asked to provide details on various facets of your work performance, including:

  • What you accomplished

  • What the results were

  • The overall impact of your work

  • Some of what you’ve learned

  • Areas of improvement

Here’s an example template of an employee self-evaluation:

Job description:

If applicable, note any significant developments since last year's performance review.

  • Which job duties do you view as most important? Why?

  • Have there been any special circumstances that have hindered or helped you in performing your role this year? If yes, what was it and how did it impact your work?


  • What are your goals for the next year and how do you plan to meet these goals?

  • What could your manager do to support you in performing your job and meeting these goals?

  • What else would help you to perform your role better?

Development planning

  • What kinds of professional development activities would you like to carry out next year?

  • What information or support do you need to accomplish these activities?

Employee signature:


Tip: Check your job description. Most organizations provide job descriptions for positions within the company in their human resources documents for people to confirm their responsibilities and expectations easily. Review your job description, and use this as a reference when determining how well you succeeded.

Related: 10 Performance Review Templates for Managers and Employees

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Self-performance review examples

Self-performance reviews have different structures depending on the organization you work for. Here are some examples of reviews to consider:

General statement examples

Here are examples of statements you may see on an evaluation:


Review this example self-evaluation from someone working in sales:

"Although I showed exceptional progress in providing quality service to our clients over the past eight months, there are several areas where I still believe I can improve my daily job performance. I've already set five goals for myself that I will work to achieve in the new year. These include: increasing my weekly sales numbers by 5%, maintaining a four-star customer review score for 12 months, completing a sales training course with the continuing education department, mastering the new company communication interface when it debuts and improving my time-management skills."


Consider this nursing self-review example:

"In the last three months, I successfully led my team of six nurses as we handled an unusually large influx of critical patients in the cardiovascular ward. Due to our performance, my team was awarded the hospital's Stanley Everett Exceptional Care award last week. I plan to continue to explore and implement strategies to improve the efficiency of our patient flow."


Here's an example of a self-assessment from a teacher:

"Since I was hired as a third-grade teacher at Newtown Elementary, I've done my best to make a difference in the lives of my students. This last semester, I succeeded in raising my class's overall test grades by an average of 12%. I'm immensely proud of my students, and I look forward to continuing to grow together for the duration of the school year."

Related: 3 Performance Review Examples for Your Next Review Cycle

Categorized examples

Here are some examples of how to complete a self-evaluation if your employer prompts you with specific duties, skills or concerns to discuss in your review with a structure focused on strengths and weaknesses:

Time management

Consider this example of a graphic designer assessing their time management skills:


  • I met all my deadlines on time.

  • I reduced my average turnaround time for edits by one day.


  • I received many unexpected rush assignments, causing me to work late hours sometimes, but I plan to meet with the project managers about expectations.

  • I struggled with determining my priorities some days, but I plan to create a weekly to-do list that accommodates time for rush assignments.


Here's an example of an administrative assistant reviewing their communication skills:


  • I answered 90% of phone calls within three rings, which is 15% higher than last quarter.

  • I created a new communication flow pattern for the departments to streamline client requests.


  • I was slower in responding to client emails, but next quarter I plan to add canned responses to confirm I received their request and explain when to expect more information from me.

  • I forgot to add a few meetings to the calendar, but I created a check list for myself to complete with coordinating the conference room schedule and planning meetings.


Review this example of a project manager assessing their problem-solving skills:


  • I resolved most client questions within 24 hours.

  • I quickly found a new company to outsource web writing and editing projects to after our previous company increased costs by 30%.


  • I experienced many delays in client responses, which slowed our timelines, but I plan to create project milestone timelines that are easier for clients to understand.

  • I had a client exceed their anticipated budget, so I want to learn more about estimating processes to prevent this from happening again.

Related: 10 Tips for Doing Your Best in Performance Reviews

Frequently asked questions

What should a self-performance review include?

A self-performance review allows you to evaluate your work and overall job performance at an organization. It usually includes sections on your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, goals and feedback. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself to guide your thinking when writing a self-performance review: 

  • What have I achieved, and how?

  • What have I struggled with, and why? Have I struggled with this in the past?

  • Do I have data to back up my achievements? 

  • What is my work ethic?

  • How well do I communicate?

  • How well do I solve problems?

  • How productive am I?

  • Is my time management good?

  • How do I want to move forward in my career?

What are some keywords to include in my self-performance review?

For your professional performance self-assessment, highlight characteristics and attributes with words that will be received positively by your reader. Here’s a list of some keywords or categories to use when describing your professional characteristics:

  • Achievements

  • Communication skills

  • Creativity

  • Delegating

  • Productivity

  • Time management

What are some tips for self-assessments?

Consider these tips to help you complete your self-performance review effectively:

  • Be honest. It's important to be honest about areas for improvement in your review, but remember to give yourself grace. Identifying potential skill gaps demonstrates your willingness to grow and provides you with an idea of how to focus your development.

  • Remain professional. While reviews encourage open discussions about your experience, it's essential to keep conversations professional. Provide constructive feedback supported by examples, and avoid unnecessary criticism or compliments.

  • Try the STAR method. The STAR method involves discussing a situation, task, action and result when providing examples. While this technique is often used in interviews, consider using this in your review to best demonstrate how your actions directly resolved issues and what you learned from the experience.

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