10 Traits Of An Instructional Design Candidate With Top Credentials

10 Traits Of An Instructional Design Candidate With Top Credentials
Summary: What are the 10 top skills to look for in an Instructional Design candidate that can help create a strong team?

Hiring An Instructional Design Candidate With Top Credentials

What traits make for the highest quality Instructional Designers? This can be difficult to determine. It seems as if most Instructional Designers come from all different types of backgrounds. From authors and teachers to corporate trainers and industry experts, there is a wide range of skills and credentials presented within the eLearning market. Much of this is because there is a huge demand for Instructional Designers, but not enough talent to go around. Depending on your hiring needs, you may be closely reviewing the profiles of professionals, trying to scrutinize their backgrounds and skills for a match to your project needs. This is a challenging and time-consuming process. However, as more professionals transfer their skills and experiences into an Instructional Design career, it should become clearer what the top eLearning candidate criteria will be. Here are what many industry experts think make for an Instructional Design candidate with top credentials.

1. A Deep Understanding Of Human Learning Methodology

A core skill set, which any eLearning professional needs to excel an Instructional Design, is a deep understanding of how human beings learn. This understanding helps Instructional Designers to create content and course formats that address the different learning styles of students.

2. Solid Learning Technology Skills And Training

It is critical for Instructional Design candidates to be well-trained and familiar with how to use the most common eLearning software and content management systems. Look for candidates who include information about using the most popular eLearning tools and products. Some of these can be taught, however when it comes down to creating a team of qualified Instructional Designers, having at least one year experience using learning content management systems, will net better results.

3. Subject Matter Expert Status In Specific Industry

Even if it's not always possible, the candidate who is also a subject matter expert is a win-win situation. Consider the industry in which the learning course will take place, and then seek out a subject matter expert for hire. For example, a college professor with a strong background in mathematics could be the perfect candidate for an Instructional Design position, even from a consultant role. The insight a Subject Matter Expert can bring to the team is valuable.

4. Being Active In The eLearning Communities

When evaluating Instructional Designers, it's important to choose individuals who demonstrate a commitment to their careers through community participation. eLearning professionals who are active on forums, contribute content, and participate in workshops and other community activities are generally people who are very serious about their careers.

5. Willingness To Learn New Skills And Methods

An Instructional Design candidate with top credentials should also be someone who is continually developing his or her own career through professional development. Look for those individuals who are considered to be lifelong learners. Candidates who are completing certificate programs, degrees, and taking on learning of software products, are those who are ready for a new opportunity and to put their new learning to work.

6. Strong Project Managers

Another often forgotten criterion for hiring eLearning professionals is looking for those who have strong project management skills. Candidates who are able to successfully manage resources, people, and time are among the most valuable in the industry. Look for a track record of heading up eLearning projects and a commitment to project management concepts.

7. Highly Creative And Visual

Learning design professionals must also be able to demonstrate above average creativity and visual production skills. Many times they are tasked with developing strong visual components of learning modules. Graphic design and understanding of the technological side of video and visual elements of learning are highly prized.

8. Ability To Solve Problems And Bring People Together

The learning market can be very challenging, especially when it comes to producing content that gets results. Professional designers in the eLearning space must be very strong problem-solvers. They must be highly resourceful. They must find ways to get around obstacles. This can also include getting people to come together towards a common goal.

9. Empathy With Learners

This may seem like an unusual trait, but the best Learning and Design professionals have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the learner. By empathizing with learners, professional designers can create content that is relevant and meaningful for learners. They can also relate to any obstacles or challenges that learners have when grasping difficult subject matter. A sign of a Learning design candidate with these skills, is someone who has worked in a testing capacity or makes improvements to courses.

10. Commanding Communication Skills

eLearning professionals should also be able to demonstrate above average communication skills both in writing and speaking. Trainers and authors are often at the top of this quality. However, evaluate each candidate based on his or her ability to convey information in a concise manner. Often times, a well-written cover letter or a resume found in an eLearning job-posting site can be an indicator of somebody having these skills.

If you want to hire an Instructional Design candidate with top credentials, be sure to use the above as a checklist of traits and abilities. These are the most often sought-after skills that will make for a great hire.