An e-learning portfolio is a great way to share examples of your work and show potential employers your unique skill set. Your portfolio should be easily available online, so hiring managers can check out your work and get a sense of your design skills and perspective—and it should also represent your personal brand.
So how do you ensure your portfolio does all this and gives you a competitive edge? Keep reading for the lowdown on five important things to think about as you build your e-learning portfolio to ensure it’s top notch. And if you’re not totally convinced an e-learning portfolio is for you, check out this article on why you need an e-learning portfolio.
1. An Eye-Catching Visual Design
The visual design of your portfolio is the first thing employers will notice, so be sure yours looks as good as the e-learning courses you design. While “attractive” can be subjective, if you follow the visual design guidelines below, you can be sure you’re on the right track:
- Minimize clutter and leave sufficient white space. This makes it easier for the person viewing your portfolio to quickly locate the information they need.
- Pick two easy-to-read fonts and use them consistently. For example, you could use one font for the headers and another for the body text.
- Select attractive accent colors. Make sure you choose accent colors that look nice and support your personal brand.
If you need some inspiration, check out these examples:
- This portfolio by Montse Anderson showcases an easy-to-navigate layout with intentional graphics and white space.
- Here’s another great example of an eye-catching portfolio, built by Sherri Sagers using Rise 360.
2. An Intuitive Layout
The layout of your portfolio is another important thing to consider. You want to ensure the most important information is instantly visible to potential employers and that they’re able to easily find anything else they might be looking for. Here are some tips for designing an intuitive layout:
- Write clear headings and place them in a prominent spot. For example: you can include an “About Me” heading at the top of the page.
- Include written instructions to guide users as they navigate. For example: “Click the drop-down menu above to view examples of my e-learning courses.”
- Be consistent. For example: if your landing page has a picture at the top and text below, use this same layout on every page. Consistency helps users quickly find what they are looking for.
Following the tips above will ensure your portfolio is easy for potential employers to navigate. For an example of great navigation, check out this portfolio by Allison Goldthorpe.
3. A Short but Effective Bio
Now that your design and navigation are looking great, it’s time to work on your portfolio content. A key part of this is your bio. Your bio gives employers a sense of who you are and your experience. Sharing a fun fact about yourself can be a cool way to stand out from the crowd, but remember that what’s most important is to include information that speaks to your skills. Check out these tips for writing a great bio:
- Keep it simple. Include a summary of your educational background, core areas of expertise, and most relevant job experience. However, there’s no need to go too in-depth about each of your past jobs in this section since you’ll include that information in your resume.
- Write in the active voice. For example, instead of saying “I specialize in the creation of immersive and engaging e-learning,” say “I create immersive and engaging e-learning.”
Following these tips will help ensure you have a bio that communicates the most important parts of your experience while also showcasing your writing skills.
4. Your Professional Mission, Vision, and Values
Including your professional mission, vision, and values shows employers what matters to you—and helps attract liked-minded organizations. A good culture fit is important for job satisfaction and helps reduce turnover, so it’s a win for everyone.
Writing your mission, vision, and values doesn’t have to be time consuming or in-depth. Honestly, the briefer the better! Here are some tips:
- Keep it short. By keeping things brief, you’re communicating what’s important without being so long-winded that people lose interest.
- Focus on your professional goals and values. Sharing this information helps potential employers assess if you’re a good fit for both the job and the organization itself.
- Make sure it’s visible. Your mission, vision, and values help ensure you and potential employers are aligned, so put it somewhere easy to find and label it clearly.
Check out the example below for some inspiration:
- Mission: To be a leader in the e-learning industry, on the cutting edge of educational technology, and produce high-quality client-focused learning solutions.
- Vision: To nurture client relationships and develop a loyal customer base while focusing on excellence and innovation.
- Values: Knowledge, integrity, innovation, and excellence.
5. Interactive Examples of Your Work
This might be last, but it’s definitely not the least important part. On the contrary, actually! Your work examples not only showcase your skills, but also the different apps you know how to use. Whenever possible, include interactive examples of your work instead of static screen shots or screencasts. That way employers can test your course for themselves and also get a better sense for your overall skills.
If your existing examples are proprietary, or you don’t think you have enough, consider participating in e-learning challenges. E-learning challenges are a great way to bulk up your portfolio, increase your experience, and hone your design skills. Plus, looking at submissions from other designers can inspire you to think outside the box.
For some tips on the types of examples to include, check out this article: What to Include in an E-Learning Portfolio.
Having an e-learning portfolio that stands out doesn’t have to be challenging or time consuming. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be on the right track in no time.
Looking for some design inspiration? Check out this e-learning challenge: 39 E-Learning Portfolio Examples and 75 Tips for Getting Started.
And remember to follow us on Twitter and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.