As a leader with experience hiring Instructional Designers (ID), there are three tips I find myself giving to every ID who asks for feedback on their resume.
The most common response I receive is "What's a learning outcome? Do you have an example?" In this post we'll explore where to find quantifiable learning data, compare learning outcomes vs. outputs, review how to create an effective layout, and identify what hiring managers like myself look for in a portfolio.
What is a learning outcome?
Instructional Designers help to solve business problems. This is the value we create for an organization. We show this value by measuring the effectiveness and impact of our learning solutions. These are known as outcomes. Your resume should be a reflection of the outcomes you've helped to achieve for an organization. It's the best way to show the value you'll bring to your next team.
Hiring managers want to see the impact that you've created in the past so they can imagine the impact you'll achieve for them. Unfortunately many of us fill our resumes with job responsibilities and lists of training materials we've created. These are known as outputs. Outputs are the modules, videos, tools, and programs you've created to solve a business problem (a.k.a, achieve an outcome).
Learning outcomes vs. outputs
Here's a simple example of a learning output vs outcome.
Output: Re-designed the Customer Service Representative (CSR) onboarding curriculum by converting instructor led content to elearning modules.
Outcome: Reduced time to onboard CSRs by two weeks while maintaining new hire proficiency standards. We converted 80 hours per new CSR spent in training to time spent supporting customers. In 2019 we returned over 2,000 hours to Operations. Our courses received an average 4.5-star quality rating (out of 5) and the curriculum achieved an overall Net Promotor Score (NPS) of 70.
Notice the difference? The outcome provides quantifiable data showing the impact of training outputs provided to the organization.
I don't have outcomes!
Maybe measuring learning outcomes isn't a requirement at your organization or your team is working up to that capability. Either way, I'm sure you can find some quantifiable information to share. Here are a few avenues to start searching for the information you need.
Example outcomes and quantifiable outputs
The following list contains examples of outputs with quantifiable information and outcomes. I've highlighted what I consider the most important component in each.
Optimize your layout
Refreshing the content of your resume isn't the only way to improve your chances of getting an interview. According to an eye scanning study by The Ladders in 2018 most resumes are scanned for about 7.4 seconds in an F or E pattern. This means that recruiters and hiring managers are quickly scanning the top of your resume , from left to right, before moving their eyes down the left side of the page for relevant information. When they find something relevant they move their eyes across the page to the right, forming an F or E pattern. Repeating this process until they are finished. You can use this research to your advantage.
"they (recruiters) scanned the left side of the resume evenly, picking out titles and reading supplementary information as necessary." The Ladders
Capitalize on recruiter and hiring manager scanning patterns by doing the following.
Here's the layout and actual summary I use for the top of my own resume. The Achievements are taken from the examples above.
Should you have a portfolio? Yes. Whether it's real or full of imagined sample projects, a hiring manager will want to see the type of work that you are capable of creating. A strong portfolio gives them a visual representation of your work.
Three tips based on portfolios I've reviewed.
As an Instructional Designer you have the ability to create immense value for your organization. Make sure that you are taking the time to capture that value to promote the work of your team and your own career. Here's a quick recap and some resources to help you enhance your resume.
1. Start measuring outcomes
If you're not measuring outcomes today, that's OK! Develop a plan and start now. Here are some resources to get you started.
Engaging people leader and accomplished Instructional Designer with over 15 years of experience creating effective learning solutions and building innovative learning teams.
© John Parsell and johnparsell.com, 2018 - 2022.