While annual performance reviews are typically conducted in the fourth quarter of the year (October – December), it's smart to get jobseekers thinking about their performance review early in the year. That gives them time to compile accomplishments throughout the year, instead of waiting until the last minute and having to dig through emails, documents, and files on a deadline.
Here are some guidelines for jobseekers preparing for an annual performance review:
If this is your first appraisal at this company, find out how it’s typically handled — and what it involves — either by asking co-workers or your manager.
If this is not your first review, get out your information from last year’s evaluation.
Prepare for this year's performance review by:
• Reviewing the feedback and ratings you received last year
• Looking at the areas where you scored well last year
• Identifying the areas that needed improvement last year
• Reviewing your goals and plans from your last review — have you made progress? Have any of the priorities from the previous year’s review changed?
Next, you’ll want to come up with your list of activities, projects, and accomplishments since your last review. Be sure to quantify your accomplishments. Your manager may not be aware of everything you were working on, so preparing a brief summary is important. What does your manager need to know before he or she meets with you?
Also assemble any relevant documentation to showcase in your review:
- Letters or emails from customers, supervisors, co-workers, and/or vendors
- A list of any trainings you’ve completed
- Copies of any honors, awards, or recognition you’ve received since your last evaluation
- A summary of your professional development activities since your last review
Looking for more tips for jobseekers to prepare for an annual performance review? Check out the Jobseeker's Guide to Preparing for a Performance Review Pass-Along Materials. It includes ideas for questions you should ask, information on how you will be assessed, and what to do if you get a negative performance review.
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