How to Write a Performance Review When You Hate Selling Yourself

If you're like most people, you dread writing your self-assessment. Whether it's because you don't like to toot your own horn or you're worried about coming across as braggy, selling yourself is never easy.

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It's all about finding a balance between modesty and confidence. Too much of either one, and your performance review will suffer. Here's how to write a performance review that will make your boss sit up and take notice:


Reflect on Your Accomplishments


If I asked you how many breaths you've taken in the last 10 minutes, you probably wouldn't be able to give me an exact answer (but if you can…please get medical help ASAP!) Oddly enough, reflecting on your work can feel quite similar. Many of our accomplishments in the workplace go unnoticed because we're so close to our work. It's easy to miss things that simply feel like "part of the job."

Start by brainstorming your accomplishments. Take the time to reflect on everything you've achieved since your last review, big or small, or you just might miss something important. I bet you'll even surprise yourself with how much you've actually accomplished!


Add Some Context To Your Greatest Achievements


Once you've written your list of accomplishments, it's time to narrow it down to the Top 5 that you're the proudest of. These should speak to the growth, new strengths, and learned skills that are most relevant to your current role.


For each accomplishment on your list, answer these questions to provide context to your manager:


i. Why do you feel a sense of pride?


ii. What about them was challenging?


iii. What did you have to overcome?


iv. What did you learn?


Tie in the Important Data and Details


Reviews are the perfect time to (humbly) toot your own horn but don't just rely on your accomplishments to speak for themselves. Include any supporting performance data, metrics, or feedback that you have to back up your claims.


For example, if you increased web traffic by 20%, include that! If a client gave you amazing feedback, include a quote from the email. If your goal was to increase efficiency, sales calls, or social media engagement, and you have the numbers to back it up, make sure to include those important details.



Your accomplishments are already impressive; the data to support them is the cherry and sprinkles on top!


How Would You Review a Friend?


Still struggling to write a self-assessment that doesn't make you cringe? Pretend you're writing about your best friend and not yourself. Most of us would write a glowing review of our best friends, their hard work, and how they impact the world.

Shift your perspective and try to write about yourself as if you were your best friend. Chances are, they would have nothing but amazing things to say about you, your hard work, and your accomplishments!


Remember that you deserve to be proud of your accomplishments, and your performance review is the time to do it.


Don't be afraid to toot your own horn a little – after all, nobody else is going to do it for you!


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