Becoming an Instructional Designer - Networking and Portfolios

In my last post titled Becoming an Instructional Designer - Areas of Expertise and Credentials, I covered areas of expertise, credentials needed to land a job, and components of an ideal instructional design program. In this post, I will talk about networking and portfolios.

The Importance of Instructional Design Networking

Breaking into any field, especially if you are fresh out of a learning program, is difficult. But if you take time to build your networks of contacts, you are bound to fare much better than someone who doesn't network. Networking is what will "spread the word" around for you, and open doors of opportunities that you would never otherwise be aware of.

Join as many networking communities as possible, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus. The latter is considered ideal for professional networking. Attending Instructional Design seminars, workshops and conferences is great for in-person networking.

Seek membership of professional associations, such as American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), Chief Learning Officer (CLO), Society for Applied Learning Technology (SALT), and International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), for additional networking and link-building opportunities.

The Instructional Design Portfolio of Success

A great resume is a good starting point for prospective employment seekers. However, if you want to start somewhere in the Instructional Design profession, chances are the first thing prospective employers will ask you is:

"So what can you do for us?"

And that's where a picture paints a thousand words!

Don't just tell them what you can do - be prepared to show them your portfolio. Include a collection of works you may have previously produced. Time invested in developing and then continually updating your portfolio is well worth spending.

To learn more about building your eLearning portfolio, you are more than welcome to check eLearning Portfolios.

If you want to learn more about Instructional Design for eLearning, you are more than welcome to check the Instructional Design for ELearning: Essential guide to creating successful eLearning courses book.