How to make your L&D resume and portfolio stand out

Since the beginning of my career with Synergis, recruiting for and networking with learning and development talent has been one of the best parts of my job. I leave every conversation having learned something and I enjoy speaking to professionals who are so incredibly passionate about what they do.

With new technologies and trends constantly emerging, it can be difficult to know what to include in your resume, portfolio and what clients are looking for so that you can better market yourself.

From current trends, I’ve seen a few things with our clients that could help your learning and development resume and portfolio stand out:

  • Always include a summary! What makes you stand out compared to other L&D professionals? Do you have a technical background and enjoy creating technical content? Or were you a teacher who has moved into Instructional Design, so you enjoy facilitating? The world of L&D is large. Having a dedicated section of your resume to show what makes you different is key.
  • Explain your design process using bullet points on your resume. Yes, hiring managers want to know if you have created instructor-led or e-learning material, but most importantly… how did you create these materials? Take the time to focus on ways that you contributed to the overall outcome of the project.
  • A skills/tools section is great on a resume. However, make sure that you incorporate how you used these tools and methodologies in the body of your resume. For example, in addition to listing Articulate Storyline as a tool on the top of your resume, add a bullet point under a specific position and explain what you used the tool for and how you used it. This shows your true efficiency in using a tool when a recruiter or manager can see this detail in your resume.
  • Provide a portfolio. Create a portfolio link where a hiring manager can access your clean, organized work samples. It’s important to highlight different types of trainings you’ve created, so a hiring manager can get a feel for your skill level, what types of content you’ve had exposure to and what tools you are comfortable using.

Once you have your resume and portfolio refreshed and ready to go, the next step is to do a deep dive into new, emerging technology. Focusing on these can help ensure you are prepared for your next career move and an attractive candidate for hiring managers. Here are a few of my recommendations:

  • Gain exposure to new and different L&D technologies. For example, get to know different authoring tools, Learning Management Systems and technologies so that you can jump into a new position and avoid getting stuck battling a huge learning curve when trying to pick up new technology.
  • Stay up to date on current market trends. For example, due to the recent pandemic, several clients are putting a huge focus on transferring instructor-led material into e-learning modules. Highlight experience within this area in your resume and explain how you can add value to a hiring manager’s team!
  • Never ever stop learning. Just when you think you know all of the tools & technologies that there are to use, one comes out with an upgraded version. Always be willing to take additional courses to stay current on new tools so your skills will always be valuable!

So, you have your resume and portfolio ready and you’ve brushed up on new, emerging technology…now what? Now you get ready for the application and interview process.

  • Understanding how recruiters find your resume is a good place to start. Recruiters use Boolean searches with keywords to find potential candidates. Ensuring your resume matches keywords for positions you’re interested in can help a recruiter find you easily.
  • It’s vital that, as an L&D professional, you focus on the impact you have on a business. When you take a new class or learn a new skill, focus on how it’s going to impact the business or company you want to join. Companies want a candidate who is going to bring something new to the table. Breaking down the added benefit to your new skill helps you communicate this in an interview.
  • In this increasingly virtual world, it’s important to gain experience with delivery trainings virtually. To ensure that you’re ready for your next interview, start thinking about how you can measure the success of your virtual trainings. If you start thinking about this now, it won’t catch you off guard in your interview.

Learning and Development is a huge, ever-adapting field. So, it’s important to make sure your resume and portfolio help you stand out against the competition. Try using our handy checklist for your resume, portfolio and LinkedIn profile.

And, if you still have questions, feel free to reach out and chat about all things L&D with me.


About the author
Mikayla Weiner is the Recruiting Manager for our San Francisco office and has been with Synergis for three years. She is proud to lead a team of recruiters who place quality first and takes the time to get to know our clients and candidates. Taking that extra time and care with each placement enables her team to make the perfect match again and again. Mikayla earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Arizona. In her free time, Mikayla loves to spend time with family, have picnics in the park with friends and stay active.

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