RadioBDC Logo
A Praise Chorus | Jimmy Eat World Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Self Evaluations: How Honest Should You Get

Posted by Elaine Varelas  January 2, 2013 10:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

I have to write a self-evaluation as part of my annual review with my manager this month. Should I be tough on myself so they know I’m open to constant improvement, be honest about my strengths and weaknesses; or go easy and let my manager point out my development opportunities?

Congratulations on taking the strategic approach to your performance review and development plan. Evaluations are intended to help further your career and provide benchmarks that may impact monetary rewards. As uncomfortable as it can be to evaluate your own performance, it is critical that you sing your own praises as honestly as you share your areas for development.

Depending on the size of your company or team, you may work for a manager who is less aware of your day-to-day activities and responsibilities. Therefore, your self-evaluation is a great place to reflect back what it is you do for your organization. You don’t need to provide finite detail, but providing an overview is helpful. Even if your manager is very hands-on, it’s still important to communicate what your role entails, your achievements, and challenges.

When detailing your accomplishments and successes be as specific as possible. For example, use quantifiable terms like ‘demonstrated strong leadership and budget management skills on X project’ as opposed to using subjective adjectives like ‘great’ or ‘excellent’. Where you can, tie results and outcomes back to productivity; how much revenue was driven (if possible) or how much money or time was saved.

Provide concrete examples of where you went above and beyond to help specific people or teams on specific projects.

As you discuss your professional shortcomings, give specifics on how they have been a hindrance and how you have worked on them and plan to continue to work on them. Give an example of a project where you felt you were not at your best, what you learned and what you are doing differently now. Also remember that everyone has areas where they need to develop and your manager will appreciate your honesty and your self-awareness. If there are ways your manager can help, whether through a class, or teaming with him/her, make that suggestion.

Your self-evaluation is an opportunity for you to drive the dialogue about your professional growth and livelihood. You should always be just as honest about your assets just as you would be your liabilities. It’s not bragging; it’s a requirement for managing your career.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article


about this blog

From looking for a job to dealing with the one you have, our Job Docs are here to answer your employment-related questions.

e-mail your question

Your question/comment:

Meet the Jobs Docs

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.