5 Tips for Writing NSPS Self Assessments
Kathryn K. Troutman, Pres. | www.resume-place.com
What did you accomplish in your federal job this fiscal year?
Department of Defense employees – 189,000 of them – are asking themselves this question right now. Why? Their Annual Self-Assessment (Self-Evaluation) is due on Sept. 30th, 2008 – or sooner.
Here’s a few questions DoD employees are asking related to writing their 2008 NSPS Self-Assessments. If you’re responsible for writing a self-assessment, use these questions and answers as a guide for writing your own assessment.
Isolate a Few Accomplishments
QUESTION: How can I just isolate a few accomplishments? I thought that the annual Self-assessment narratives should cover a little bit of everything that I did for the entire year. I accomplished so much last year!
ANSWER: The best way to present your best accomplishments for FY 2008 is to think about your very best accomplishments. What were your most significant projects, big problems that you solved, team projects you contributed to, new programs you established, or super customer service problems or challenges that you resolved? Be specific. Tell a story. What happened? What actions did you take? hat were the results?
Be Your Own Advocate
QUESTION: I’ve been taught all my life NOT to brag. This is VERY difficult for me. How can I do this and keep my job?
ANSWER: I know it’s hard to brag about yourself, to write that you did achieve your objectives, you did manage a changing situation, you did overcome obstacles, and you did meet a difficult deadline. But with NSPS and the self-assessments and rankings, you have to be your own CHEERLEADER. So, just start thinking about why you are good at your job and make a list of your great new ideas and initiatives.
Organize Your Writing
QUESTION: How can I write all of my accomplishments in the new online form requirement (PAA Form), which only allows 2,000 characters for each of my major Job Objectives?
ANSWER: If you have 2,000 characters per job objective, such as “Ensure Customer Services to Principal Agencies,” you have room to write 3 accomplishments with 600 characters each; or 4 accomplishments with 500 characters. 3 or 4 good, well-written accomplishments are enough to demonstrate that you have met the Job Objective.
Their Assessment of My Assessment?
QUESTION: I know my supervisor will be writing THEIR assessment of MY assessment. What if I don’t write a great summary of my accomplishments? Will my supervisor remember to write about the best that I performed?
ANSWER: If you write about a good set of accomplishments, the supervisor will remember those and add their notes about how you performed, the project results, and how you met the mission of the agency. You can help your supervisor out by writing clear descriptions that provide them with all of the details of your accomplishment.
QUESTION: How do I know what they are looking for in a “good accomplishment”? What is the criteria?
ANSWER: The Performance Indicators, Contributing Factors and Work Behavior Descriptions – which are the criteria you are being evaluated against – are available to you to read study and use as a checklist for writing your accomplishments. The Resume Place, Inc., NSPS Keyword Tree can help you with recognizing keywords that can be added into your accomplishments.
What Are the NSPS Keywords?
QUESTION: I’ve heard that Keywords are important for the NSPS Self-Assessment. What are they? Where are they?
ANSWER: You can read the official descriptions of the Performance Indicators and Contributing Factors at www.resume-place.com/nspstree. Add words into your accomplishments that demonstrate you are performing as a VALUED EMPLOYEE, or Level 3.
MORE INFORMATION: Samples, keywords, personal empowerment writing style, and instruction for writing accomplishments are available in the new, in-demand book, Writing Your NSPS Self-Assessment by Kathryn Troutman and Nancy Segal. The Resume Place, Inc.