Tip of the Day
It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while a prospective employer will ask to see a copy of your performance review. You should politely decline.
The information in your review is proprietary and giving a prospective boss access to the document allows him to scrutinize every task you performed and read you manager’s subjective comments. That’s more information than they need. In addition, performance plans are controlled documents because they often detail a company’s technical infrastructure and business objectives.
Explain that your review is confidential and ask if a reference will suffice. If you understand why the employer needs the information, you can suggest an alternate source to validate your experience. It’s OK to divulge your rating from the last performance review or to reveal the top two or three goals in your plan. Or, you can provide a copy of your job description to validate your experience.
Peer references or a letter from a previous boss may also satisfy the hiring manager’s curiosity, and of course you can provide copies of complimentary emails or awards you’ve received. But keep your actual performance review to yourself.
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