In many companies, a self-appraisal is a key component of the performance review process. Self-appraisals give an employee the chance to provide a personal assessment of her work. It should be objective, highlighting successes and areas that may require improvement. Using the right language and modes of expression in your self-appraisal can help you get the review process off to a good start.
Start out with a list of the things you've achieved over the appraisal period. Be sure to relate the items you mention to the essential functions of your role. You can refer to the job description that was used in the initial recruitment process or a previous year’s appraisal. Also highlight any extra tasks and functions you've taken on outside of your specified remit. This will emphasise your initiative and willingness to “go the extra mile.”
An honest self-appraisal will also highlight areas of your role that you may not have performed so well in. Everyone has something they can improve upon. It's important to frame these areas in positive terms. Highlight the steps you will take -- or the training you may need -- to improve your performance. Always balance a negative with a positive.
Use professional language and avoid colloquialisms and slang. This is an official part of your employment record and the language you use should reflect that. Even if you are great friends with your manager, the appraisal may be seen by other members of management with whom you do not have the same relationship.
When you've written your self-appraisal, always proofread it before handing it in. Double-check that you've got the right tone, balancing an objective assessment of your performance with a positive approach to both your achievements and areas of potential improvement. Make sure that you've correctly spelled everything -- don’t just rely on your computer’s spellcheck function -- particularly if there are terms specific to your company or role. Ensure any examples you use directly relate to the point you're making.