Get the most out of your yearly performance review

What you say in your performance review is not all that different than what you would include in your resume. Here are some tips.

For many companies, it's that time of year again: Time to review employees' performance of the previous year.

For employees, how active a part they play in their reviews depends on how their company handles the review process. For example, some managers are tasked with keeping copious notes on employee performance during the year and then compiling them into a review template that an employee has little say in, other than to accept or reject the ultimate rating.

Others make the review process more interactive, including the use of self and peer reviews. If you fall into this latter category, here are some tips for making the most of your input as an employee.

Those who read this blog regularly know that I preach the concept of self-marketing in regard to resumes and interviewing; well, the performance review process is no different. Just because you are employed with a company doesn't mean that you stop marketing yourself to your co-workers and those who stand in judgment of you.

Your goal is to prove your value to the company by using specific, measurable examples. It's not sufficient to say that you "successfully managed two projects." You need to define what "success" means in the sense you're using it. Did you come in under budget? Did you save the company money? The more specific you are with the numbers, the easier it is to monetize your contribution. And in today's corporate spreadsheet world, monetizing one's contribution is vital.

One way to do this is to keep track of your accomplishments during the year. This free spreadsheet offers a structured way to keep track of your noteworthy accomplishments.

Ask yourself what you did do to further your career goals during the year. If you want to be a leader, what specific duties did you take on that fall under that category? If you wanted to be more proficient in a particular technology what did you do to achieve that goal? Did you complete training? Did you work on a hands-on project?

Good luck!