You may not be currently looking for a job, but it never hurts to have an up-to-date online portfolio of your work. And if your work samples are gathering dust in a folder somewhere, all the more reason to get your expertise displayed electronically.
There are a myriad of websites out there where you can display your work for free. Some platforms are better suited for writing samples while others are more applicable for showcasing graphics or eLearning samples.
Technical writers might want to consider a blog site such as Blogger, WordPress.com or LiveJournal to set up a free account. All three have user-friendly interfaces, and if you’re stuck, Lynda.com offers a course, “Create an Online Portfolio with WordPress.” There’s also a publishing-friendly site, Contently, where writers can collect their published clips into one location for no charge.
If you’re looking for a platform that’s more graphics-friendly, there are a number of free options. Most are targeted for graphic designers, but all can serve the same purpose for instructional design samples because they can support Flash files. These options include Behance, Flavors, FolioSpaces, Mahara, Shownd, and Wix.
Once you’ve found a platform, you’ll want to select which work samples you’d like to feature. Choose the most salient samples of your work, instead of everything excluding the kitchen sink! If you’re just getting started in your career, it’s okay to show samples of your school work.
Be sure to include samples from different types of projects and with different industries. Instructional designers might want to consider showing samples from each stage of the ADDIE model. Don’t go too far back when displaying past accomplishments. A good rule of thumb is to only display work you created within the past ten years. And if you signed non-disclosure agreements, you can’t include those samples in your portfolio unless you’ve gained permission from the client.
Simple themes work best for presenting your portfolio. With each sample, give a brief overview of the project objectives, how these objectives were achieved and your role in the project. Also, be sure to list the types of software used. Don’t forget to add an About Me section to your portfolio listing a summary of your skills and your contact information.
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