Self-Appraisal: How to write a winning one

A self-appraisal, no matter how annoying, is still the most important annual feat for your career graph. Writing a self-appraisal gives you an opportunity, where you can make a sound case for your performance.

The write-up below makes crafting a self-appraisal easier by its simple step-by-step guidance.

Have a look!


Simply put, you use a Performance log to record your performance and achievements all through the appraisal year.

Treat this as your performance journal. Bring out your job description and annual goals again and regularly document your work against these goals.

What to include in performance log –

  • Achievements and accomplished goals
  • Quantifiable improvement in performance
  • Deadlines met or exceeded
  • Fruitful Initiatives
  • Successful decisions and thereby actions
  • Skillful pressure handling
  • Appreciation notes or feedback received from peers and stake holders. (Paste those emails and files for data proof).
  • Areas of improvement

What NOT to include in performance log –

  • Vague information
  • Rumors
  • Allegations
  • Biased opinion
  • Conjecture
  • Hypothesis
  • Irrelevant information
  • Classified information
  • Personal information about coworkers

Advantages of maintaining a performance log –

  • Serves as quick information at hand
  • Saves time when writing self-appraisal
  • Helps stay focused on goals all through the year
  • Acts as a reminder for updating skills to meet objectives
  • Prepares you for a productive performance review discussion with your appraiser


  • Write about goals you have accomplished.
  • Describe your actions tagging these goals to the bigger organizational objectives.
  • Touch upon yet to finish goals.
  • Talk about challenges you faced and how you overcame them.


  • Any overlooked but significant contribution backed by data proof
  • Appreciation notes (internal) for stepping in
  • Appreciation emails from clients and customers for going above and beyond the call of duty
  • Rewards and recognition for extra efforts

NoteDo not list these out separately. Include the information in a factual manner while describing your regular performance. This is bound to give you bonus points if you are looking for a promotion or salary hike!


  • Feedback and appreciation notes from colleagues and stakeholders
  • The tangible output of your work
  • Major milestones
  • Challenges overcome with a measurable outcome

How to present evidence

  • Use past tense for describing.
  • Use  Situation- Action- Outcome format.

Answer these questions and you have your evidence ready.


– What was the situation under which you met your performance objective?

– Did you face any challenges? Recount.

Action – What precise action did you take?

Result – What was the end result of your action?

– Did you help cut expenditure?

-Did you make it time-efficient?

-What was the feedback from stakeholders?

-How is your accomplishment a value addition to the organization?

– What is your source of measuring the outcome of your work? (E.g. Reports, surveys, etc.)

Note – Include the target date and various milestones of your work. This helps ascertain your progress.


Before you begin assigning ratings, acquaint yourself with the entire self-appraisal form. Go over all the instructions, rating scale definitions, competencies, and performance criteria.

  • Place yourself at the mid-point of the rating scale (eg. 3 on a scale of 5). Going by the number of goals achieved, move your rating forward or backward.
  • Support your rating with relevant comments, behavioral and performance examples. If you choose a 5, make sure you have appropriate examples to support your claim to a 5 rating.
  • Do not hub on a one-off episode of good or bad performance. Your appraisal rating should be a culmination of your overall yearly work.

Points that help:

  • Do not exaggerate your achievements

Stay as honest and objective as possible. Make your claims identifiable and measurable. Only take credit for what you have achieved. That said, do not undermine your work either, in the name of humility.

  • Do not project yourself to be perpetually perfect

While you skillfully showcase your contributions, make sure you also touch upon your areas of improvement. This way you come across as a balanced professional who is aware of his/her strengths & weaknesses and is also keen on regular upskilling.

  • Pinpoint your development areas with the positive reaffirmation

There is no harm in subtly highlighting your areas of improvement. This will give objectivity to your self-appraisal.

Word it judiciously. Do not say- I could not complete/ I failed at/I missed meeting the deadline

Replace negative words with – I need to continue working on/ I learned that/This is my plan of action for managing it better the next time

  • Show that you are ready for a promotion in case you are seeking one

Keeping in mind the job description of the next level, call attention to how you are already contributing on the same lines. For e.g. if you are already handling customers a bit or contributing to presentations for important client meets, highlight it. Do let your appraiser know that you feel you are ready for that next jump.

A skillfully crafted self-appraisal shows that you are sincerely engaged in not only your current responsibilities but also your career progression!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Madonna

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