How to Prepare for an Annual Review with Your Boss

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Annual reviews can be stressful to say the least, and anxiety inducing for most, but if you go into the review with a positive attitude, it likely won’t be bad at all. Plus, it’s National Boss Day, so here are a few tips to help you prepare for an annual review with your boss so you go into it completely prepared.

Do Some Research

In order to be prepared for your review, start by doing a bit of research on yourself. Look back at your schedule and see what projects you’ve taken on. Take note of any metrics or accomplishments that come to mind, then continue to build from there and create an outline of what additional information could better articulate your accomplishments.

This will help give you a clear picture of what your boss might bring up in a review. Take notes of the strengths and weak points of the projects you’ve worked on so you can be prepared to talk about them if they come up in conversation.

Approach Your Boss with Positivity

It can seem scary to approach your boss about a performance review, but performance reviews can be powerful tools to help you grow in your career. Additionally, using information from performance reviews could help you improve your resume.

Additionally, setting up the time yourself could help you feel more confident about it. A great way to reach out to your boss about a performance review could go something like this:

Hi [Name],

I was looking back on some past projects I’ve worked on, and wanted to touch base to gather some feedback. I really enjoyed working on [project] and would love to hear your take on the execution, the results, and how I can further develop my capabilities going forward. I know my performance review should be coming up, so please let me know if there’s a good time to put something on the calendar!

Thanks,

[Name]

Come Prepared

Bring the research and results that you’ve come up with so you can show that you’ve put effort into it. This will give your boss the message that you’re taking ownership for your actions, being proactive about how you can improve, and putting in a shared effort to enhance your performance.

Additionally, make sure that you bring a notebook or laptop to take notes on the feedback you receive so you don’t miss anything.

Finally, come in armed with questions. Show what you’ve come up with and ask clarifying questions. For example, you can discuss that you noticed a spike in consumer engagement after you completed the project and ask if your boss has any specific numbers on engagement so you can measure the effects of your work.

You could also discuss any weak points. From there, you can ask for improvement strategies or point out potential solutions that you’ve come up with. While you might not think of weak points as beneficial to include on your resume, you can phrase it in a positive way like this:

Identified project weaknesses including x and y, and worked with senior management to strategize potential solutions to improve project results and optimize internal project management processes.

Tell Your Boss You’d Like to Use This Information

Performance reviews can provide extremely useful information, but if you’re discussing external clients and client information, be sure that you can legally use this information on a resume or public platform such as LinkedIn. It’s important to ensure that you’re not breaching any confidentiality contracts if you’re talking about budgets, etc.

Share your excitement about gathering your information, and ask your boss if you could use it to update your LinkedIn profile. To ensure that you’re giving off a positive message, explain that you’d like to use the information on LinkedIn to highlight company success and draw in potential clients.

Performance reviews don’t have to be as scary as they seem. Believe it or not, your boss is just a regular person and they will likely respond well to a positive attitude and desire to do better. As long as you approach your performance review with positivity, a conversation with your boss can be a really great experience!

By: Michele Lando


A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.

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