How to present your achievements for a review
Published (updated: ) in Leadership and Soft Skills.
A performance review allows both the employer and employee to discuss what has been completed during the last performance review cycle, assess what went well, where areas of improvement may lie, and proactively implement needed support.
Employees often underutilize performance reviews. They are great opportunities to get feedback and to present your achievements to reach your career goals.
During a performance review a boss or manager will be assessing: what have you done, and how did you do it. It includes technical skills and knowledge, characteristics and traits, and interpersonal skills and relationships. Your manager uses a performance review to assess how well you do your job and to determine your pay raise or a promotion. On the negative side if a performance review determines a lack of performance or failure the results could be employment probation or termination.
So, what can you do to present your achievements for a review in a positive light?
- Write down all the projects & unique tasks you’ve done. For repeated tasks, try to estimate a numeric metric, e.g. X marketing emails. If possible, attach your work to Business metrics such as the number of customers, revenue, or customer satisfaction.
- Split these achievements into several big goals like Improving Customer Service or Risk Control. Define tasks you have to do to accomplish these goals. Does your project align with these tasks?
- For each goal, write several paragraphs describing what have you done to reach it. Ensure the text can be read and understood by an outsider like HR or a new employer. Avoid using local terms and project names only your team can understand.
- Describe how the accomplishment impacted your team/organization, and what were the challenges and results. What could you have done differently? Everything explained should be done so clearly and succinctly with metrics and concrete details and examples.
- Combine these paragraphs into a single text. As a result, it should be about 1-3 A4 pages long. Nicely format the document.
- State your professional strengths and highlight areas of improvement. Do not include spheres where you don’t want to grow as it may cause you to go the wrong career path.
- Present the document to your manager during the review. A properly made summary will present your work much better than a half-year talk.
The best advice I’ve ever heard on a yearly review is to collect information during the whole year. That way in November you won’t try to remember what you did in February, losing important details or even projects from the review. Set up a weekly meeting with yourself to reiterate the goals and what you do to achieve them.
Properly presenting achievements during yearly reviews is an ideal way to get that long-awaited pay rise or promotion or simply reiterate where are you going with your career. Don’t miss that chance.