Write the best annual performance review
Your best tool, second only to your job performance, for a pay-raise or promotion, is a marvelously written annual performance review. If there’s one thing I can do is sell myself. That’s why we’re sharing our six tips to write the best annual performance review ever. Get it here.
The best annual performance review sells the best of you
Aside from once working for a major bitch, I had a majorly good career as a W-2. I attribute much of that to two skills of mine. The first is that I interview well. Sometimes I’d hear myself interview and think, “Who the hell is that?” I often got the job.
The second skill is writing the most amazing, best annual performance reviews. I was so good at it that others on my team had me edit their annual performance reviews. I was Michael Carrington doing Stephanie Zinone and the T-Birds’ homework in Grease 2 – didn’t see it? Not many did.
This is what I’ve learned in all my years of bullshitting selling myself for more money.
1. Use last year’s annual review and this year’s goals
Annual performance reviews are measurements and measurements need at least two data points. For projects and responsibilities that have lasted more than one year, use last year’s annual performance review to show how far you’ve come with the project has come or how well you did.
Address each item included in this year’s annual goals. If your goals changed mid-year, share how far you got with your original and new goals. If there was a mid-year change, it’s likely your boss is currently focused on your current goals. You should still get recognition for what you did. At least, mention that your goals changed mid-year and your success with those goals should be included when determining your annual performance review results.
For help writing the best annual performance review, borrow some of the best language I’ve ever used by clicking here.
2. Be specific and detailed
Especially if you report to a senior manager or higher, be specific and detailed. Your boss will be frustrated if you submit War & Peace. They don’t have time for that. Likewise, your boss can read through your bullshit. Don’t get carried away with colorful commentary and fancy pros.
Go Dragnet, and give “just the facts.”
3. Be benefits-focused
You’re an expense to your firm, no matter how big or small you are, or it is. You’re taking up space and costing money. That’s fine if you’re providing enough value. Your company needs a clear return on investing (ROI) in you. Therefore, state quantifiable examples of the value you provide your team, your boss, your department and the business.
Each time, complete this formula: “I did A, which resulted in B,” where A equals your action(s) and B equals the quantifiable benefit(s).
When you’ve completed that formula for all the benefits you’ll include in your annual performance review, rephrase your statements for the same results without writing a monotonous annual performance review.
For example, “I closed the firm’s biggest client this year, bringing an additional $10,000,000 in assets under management.” Or, “I updated processes for documenting accounts receivables, decreasing processing time by 15% and expenses by 5%.”
Again, don’t start from scratch! We’ve done the work for you, so borrow it to make more money.
4. Be real
I’ve already addressed the need to not include bullshit, at least too much, in your annual performance review. You can bullshit a little if you’ve got the data to back it up. Include too much bullshit and your boss will dismiss your review, and that could mean no bono or promo, and that’s no bueno.
Being real means including challenges in your annual performance review. You’re human, and to make it appear otherwise is inauthentic. Your boss wants an authentic annual performance review, so they can work with you.
That said, never admit to a mistake, an error or doing anything wrong in an annual performance review. Put your attorney’s cap on, and say you “had a challenge here” or “need to improve there.”” This was a struggle” and “that needs more attention” from you, your boss or someone.
Provide a healthy dose of reality. Don’t show all your cards.
5. Be proper
Your annual performance review isn’t an internal email. It’s not a handwritten note posted to your desk. It’s certainly not a text trying to find your friends at a packed bar. This is an official document to your boss detailing why and how you’re more kickass than the reigning butter sculpting champ.
For the love of all that is holier than holy, use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling (I don’t buy the Oxford Comma).
Use, don’t rely, on Spellcheck. Use Dictionary.com to double check words you’re not sure are spelled or used correctly. Use Thesaurus.com to find righter words – I need a Thesaurus.
Use Grammarly to triple-check your spelling and double-check your grammar. If you pay more for Grammarly’s subscription service, it’ll help reduce repetitive words in your annual performance review and in the world in general.
6. Prepare all year long for the best annual performance review
Can you wait until the last minute, like writing a term paper in college, to write the best annual reviews? Sure, and it’d be passable. However, you want to make more money, right? How about a lot more money? Then, don’t shoot for a C or even a B.
Go for the A+! We’ve done all the work for you. Get it here.
The first time you turn on your office computer in the new year, create a folder in your email and a file folder on your computer both titled for the current year. For example, “2018” for 2018, “2019” for 2019 and so forth.
Anytime you get a positive comment or review, file it in this email folder. Anytime you’ve completed or been a part of a successful project, file supporting documentation in this file folder. Start immediately because it’s not likely that you’ll remember in November or December what you earned and accomplished in January and February when you write the all-time best annual performance review.
You won’t include every positive quote or successful project in your next annual performance review. You’ll include the best quotes and those from the most influential people and your most important clients. These give third-party support for your amazing annual performance review. At a high-level, include the total number of positive comments you got from your company’s leaders and clients, then be prepared to share them if asked.
Include the most important projects, biggest deals closed and the projects on which you had the most influence. If, because you were short-staffed, for example, and the number of projects you’ve worked on or completed is an accomplishment, list every single project. Otherwise, include the biggest, the best and most important.
These are our general guidelines for writing the best annual performance review ever to get that promotion or raise. When you get your raise or promotion, use your increased income to build a more financially secure future by increasing your retirement plan contributions, paying off debt and investing.