Make Your E-Learning Portfolio Stand Out: Showcase Your Projects and Skills Online to Attract Employers and Clients

By Arshavskiy, Marina | Talent Development, June 2018 | Go to article overview

Make Your E-Learning Portfolio Stand Out: Showcase Your Projects and Skills Online to Attract Employers and Clients


Arshavskiy, Marina, Talent Development


The days of assured employment and job security have ended. Today's world is highly competitive and fast-paced, and employers and clients must constantly look for the best talent. Even if you have performed well in the past in a creative profession--such as instructional design--you no longer can count on just your skills and experience to continue keeping you in one role or at one organization.

We also live in an era of compressed timelines, where prospective clients have little time to engage in multiple rounds of interviews and conversations. Most employers want a contractor or employee "yesterday" and have little patience to sift through piles of resumes and testimonials.

As an e-learning content developer or instructional designer, you can give yourself an edge over the competition with a powerful online presence that employers and tentative clients can review quickly--on their own time. All you need it to do is make them say, "I need this person on my team!"

That online presence is your e-learning portfolio.

* Prerequisites for success

In the not-so-recent past, you would produce reams of paper-based documentation to showcase your academic and professional accomplishments. Those days are long gone. Online portfolios, which can do much more than their paper-based predecessors, have started replacing the traditional resume or CV.

That said, the core principles for designing killer e-learning portfolios remain largely the same as the resume-building process of the past:

* Think of everything that you've accomplished over the course of your professional life.

* Flesh out the most important aspects of your career that are relevant to a specific employment opportunity.

* Present those aspects in a way that shows why you are the best fit for the available role or position.

Those are the basic ingredients for building a knock-out e-learning portfolio. Here are some tips, suggestions, and best practices that should help you get your raw materials organized for success.

* Pick the right platform

Your immediate impulse may be to dive into producing your portfolio's content. Control that thought. You'll have plenty of time to create content. First, you need to know where you plan to host it.

Your choice of hosting platform will have a huge influence on the type of content you develop and how you present it. It can even affect some of your key design and navigation features. For example, if you intend to build a portfolio that shows visitors thumbnail images of your work, then you need to make sure your platform supports thumbnails before you start producing them.

If this is your first time building a portfolio website, consider using a platform such as WordPress. Not only will WordPress enable you to host its sites on any web hosting service, but you also can use its range of free and paid themes. These templates can inspire you with new and creative ways to develop your content.

Some other platforms to consider include:

* VisualCV.com

* Portfoliobox.net

* Behance.net

* DoYouBuzz.com.

* Pick the right projects

Next, choose a good representation of your projects that show the diversity of your skills. At this stage, don't be overly picky. Go overboard and tag as many projects as you like.

Ideally, even if you have implemented several similar projects (for example, maybe you've designed and developed e-learning courses for several healthcare institutions), you should consider picking them all at this stage of the portfolio-planning process.

* Highlight a variety of skills

Write a summary for each of your projects to show off the special skills, unique features, notable challenges, and creative resolutions that went into each one. For example, you may highlight:

* your experience with gamification

* your skills with producing infographics and other visual instructional content

* any experience with storyboarding

* work you may have done with interactive or animated course designs. …

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