I’ve presented on How to Build Your E-Learning Portfolio several times over the past year, and it still amazes me how few e-learning portfolios I come across online. For this reason, I’ve decided to take a four-part approach to sharing what I know about building your e-learning portfolio.
The Importance of an E-Learning Portfolio
For e-learning professionals, and for many folks working in other ‘visual’ industries, a visual portfolio is essential. I said it. Essential. A portfolio will help you out if you eventually seek to change jobs, roles, or move into a freelance/contracting role, and it will quell the inevitable question from prospective employers/clients, “can we see some work samples and/or your portfolio?” Portfolios should be considered the cornerstone for every e-learning professional.
In my opinion, there are three main reasons why having a portfolio is important:
- It highlights your capabilities; specifically with visual technologies;
- It can act as a visual resume. Most Instructional Designers have had a Subject Matter Expert review their Word storyboard only to say “but, I just can’t visualize it.” As an ID, you know that the next phase is developing the content and media assets, but the SME just can’t get past the storyboard phase. This problem is similar to one that prospective clients have when trying to visualize how you and your abilities could work for them and their needs; and
- It can lead to an increase in job offers. Once prospective clients can see what you’re capable of doing, their confidence in your abilities will increase, which can help you reduce the amount of hustling you have to do.
My portfolio started out with just a few items, but once it went live, I saw a dramatic increase in the amount of prospective client inquiries I had. You will never stop playing the sales person as a small-business owner, but you can significantly reduce the amount of hustling you do, and will likely be able to enjoy the luxury of being able to choose who you want to work with.
Since tossing my portfolio online, I’ve been able to focus on working with clients I’m passionate about doing work with instead of scooping up anything and everything. It’s also allowed me to funnel work into the hands of other hustling independents to keep their revenue streams open when mine is at capacity.
With all of that being said, I would consider investing time into building my portfolio to be a direct correlation with an increase in my quality of work life and overall job satisfaction!