It’s a no-brainer that an amazing instructional design portfolio is the quickest way to get you the job you want. However, it can be challenging to figure out the best ways of showcasing your talents effectively. Luckily, I am here to help! Check out my top 5 tips to go about making that perfect portfolio.

1. Focus on what makes you unique

Preferably in your introduction, you need to explain your unique selling proposition, or essentially what sets you apart from the rest. Be specific. Have you been recognized for any projects in particular? Do you have a passion for making simulation games or tools that connect with social media? This will give your potential employer a better glimpse of who you are as a person and what you can offer to their company.

2. Keep it simple

While it may be tempting to use every flashy design element in the book, keep in mind that your work should be the focal point of your portfolio. However, it doesn’t mean that your design shouldn’t matter and potential employers will want to see your aesthetic eye. Ultimately your portfolio needs to be easy to navigate and an accurate reflection of yourself.

3. Keep your audience in mind

As you do in instructional design, you need to design your portfolio from the perspective of your new employer. Explaining your skills in is great, but you want to show how you put your words into action. If you are applying for a position that specializes in providing accessibility for all, you want to pick projects that will showcase your ability to create for those groups. If the company specializes in K-12 education, you probably don’t want the only projects in your portfolio to be filled with complicated corporate jargon.

4. Find the right tool

There are many different tools available for creating your online portfolio. I’ve seen some created with free sites like WordPress, Blogger, or Google Sites. Others use paid alternatives like Squarespace, Wix, ThemeForest and Adobe Portfolio. Ultimately you want to compare the cost, the safety and the capabilities of each service. Many eLearning projects are built with Flash, so you probably need a site that will support that. If you want a breakdown of these different programs, check out this comprehensive guide from DigitalArtsOnline.

5. Build an online presence

This is an optional tip, but I believe it is an important one. Having a strong online presence can boost your credibility with employers and help you build an expert status in your field. Plus, you might just find your new boss or co-worker through networking online. Of course, not all social platforms are equal when it comes to instructional design. I’ve found Twitter to be the most popular among educators and instructional designers, but there are communities if you only think to look. Pair your social presence with your digital portfolio and you just might be unstoppable.


  • Check out this portfolio by Dr. Jay Chun. I especially love his introductory video. Straightforward and to-the-point; you immediately understand who he is and what he’s about. His portfolio is also simple and easy to navigate and he shows off a variety of different projects! See it for yourself at

If you would like your portfolio featured in this post, please leave a comment or message me on Twitter.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you next time!



Looking for more ways to get hired? Have you considered joining a professional association? Check out these 3 Instructional Design Professional Associations you can join for cheap or even free!

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