Interviewing: Land Your Dream Role with these 5 Tips

I don't know about you, but once I felt like my resume and portfolio were ready to share with the corporate instructional design world I knew my next step was to start applying for jobs.  This is the part that scared me the most.  I knew the time I spent learning in the IDOL courses Academy had given me the tools to build a strong portfolio and transition my teaching resume to instructional design.  If your resume and portfolio are not quite where you want them to be, check out these two great resources before jumping into your first interview.  IDOL Resume Writing Guide and Build Your Online Portfolio are helpful if you are looking for a jumpstart. 

I also felt confident in my ability to perform my instructional design skills once hired as an instructional designer in the corporate space.  The problem was that I hadn’t interviewed in over 8 years and that was for a teaching position.  I knew I needed to prepare for my...

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Power of the Portfolio: The Key to Becoming an IDOL

You’re thinking of becoming an instructional designer, or maybe you’re ready to start applying for jobs. You think to yourself, how can I make myself stand out to employers? How can I build confidence as a new ID? The answer: a portfolio. 

Yes, really.

The power of a portfolio unleashes all of your darkest fears. Creating a portfolio allows you to take that leap into the unknown, and scream, “this is me and I want everyone to know it!” The first step to getting over imposter syndrome is to believe in yourself; so what better way to put yourself out there than with an organized, visual representation of who you are? 

Who are you exactly? You are a learner, curriculum developer, problem solver, eLearning developer, and instructional designer - and so much more!

 

Here’s a little backstory. 

I am new to corporate and higher Ed instructional design. Most of my pre-ID professional experience was as a high school science teacher. After...

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Peer Review: Make It Work For Everyone

Using peer review is a great way to grow your skills, while also developing a strong community of colleagues. It’s a useful tool in any field, but it’s especially valuable for us as instructional designers because it shows a commitment to ongoing learning. 

I have used peer review in all kinds of professional contexts, from teaching in higher education to my work consulting with clients on instructional design projects now. My many experiences with peer review have included teaching others how to use it, as well as giving and receiving peer review from others. From these experiences, I have learned that peer review can be a rewarding experience for all involved, but only if it is practiced with the intention and care it deserves. These are my tips for effective peer review for everyone.

 

Tip #1: Peer Reviewers Are Expert Reviewers

Peer review is the process of peers giving structured, focused feedback on in-progress work. In this context,...

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Surprises During My First ID Job

 Before you get that first job in Instructional Design, you might have a lot of questions and wonder what reality will be like. What skills will I use on the job? What tools will I use the most? What will the role really be like? Will my actual job be close to the job description? Will there be any surprises? I mean, what in the world does an Instructional Designer even DO?!

Of course every job, company, and person will have a different experience. But I will share my own experience so you can get a glimpse into what you might expect in your job from my perspective. For more experiences, check out Gretchen Johanson’s blog post Lessons Learned During My First Big ID Project or check out the IDOL series: Diary of a New IDOL by Kristi and Veronica.

Some things I expected or assumed going into my first Instructional Design job. However, some things surprised me.

 

The Top 3 Things that Surprised Me:

1. You might be the only instructional designer on your team....

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Recap: The Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge

 This has been an exciting week for IDOL courses offering the first free Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge. Over 1400 people joined the challenge. The crowd has been diverse, with teachers, graphic designers, instructional designers, and others who want to jump start their careers in 2021.

As part of the challenge, everyone received a workbook, and every day this week, Robin held a live training session empowering people to take the first steps in creating a hiring manager avatar, identifying their ideal IDOL role, and developing portfolio items for the job hunt. The transition to becoming an instructional designer is a challenge, but it is easier when you are not doing it alone. 

This week has been full of community and working together toward goals, asking questions, and learning more. Strangers formed accountability groups and helped each other on the path to a career in instructional design. This is a significant first step in networking. Networking is an integral part...

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Work-Life Balance: Teacher versus ID

          A few years ago I took a leap of faith. I left a decade long career in Education to become an Instructional Designer. Since then, I have been desperately trying to convert my teacher friends as if I found a new religion or something. I am that passionate about what I do. I want them to have what I have – lower stress and a more balanced life.

         Teachers are teaching during their eight hours at the “office.” So where do they fit in the time to plan lessons (A.K.A. design instruction), grade students’ work, make phone calls to parents, and all of the other things for which they are responsible? They do it in the evenings by staying late at the school, taking their work home to do after dinner, or both. They show up early in the morning to prepare the day’s lessons so class can run smoothly.

         Personally, I used to arrive...

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Making Your Own ID Opportunities: An Educator's Journey Into ID

Are you a passionate educator  feeling educator fatigue? Do you feel like you have what it takes to make a career transition into instructional design, but don’t know how to get your foot in the door? Are you looking to rekindle your passion for education? I have been in your shoes, I have felt exhausted and I made a change. With hard work, self-advocacy and the wonderful IDOL courses Academy support system I was able to successfully transition from the public education system into the corporate world as an instructional designer, and so can you!

 

In an unfortunate era where Arts programs in schools are losing funding and shutting down rapidly, creating opportunities and advocating became my most valuable skill set as a public school teacher. One of the best pieces of advice ever given to me as an Arts teacher was, “You have to create a program that is too visible and concrete for them to silently take away.” This meant creating community outreach...

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Go From Ghosted to "Best Hire": Transform Your Career with Feedback & Community

Are you getting ghosted after interviews?

Are you relying on friends & family members for feedback on your portfolio?

Do you wish you had a community to guide & support you during the job search process?


You can go from being ghosted to becoming one of your future company’s best hires with IDOL courses Academy. I did!

Before joining IDOL courses Academy, I was a literacy teacher/teacher trainer & coach, who was spinning her wheels on how to officially break into the instructional design industry. 

I dove in taking courses, reading books & blogs, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos. In 2019, I even attended the ATD conference, networked, and attended the career center, where I managed to land two interviews.

One of the interviews seemed promising. I liked the team, and I had a feeling that they liked me, too. Then, they popped the big question: “Do you have a portfolio?” 

I did not. I only had a couple of samples I had created...

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Do You Feel Like an Imposter? You're In Good Company

“I’m a fraud.”

“I only got the job because I got lucky.”

“Will they find out I don’t know what I am doing?”

Do any of these sound familiar? You may be dealing with imposterism. And you are in good company.

If you aren’t sure, take this Imposterism self-assessment created by Pauline Rose Clance.

Imposterism. Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Phenomenon. Imposter Experience. 

These terms describe how high-achieving people fail to recognize their success and/or accomplishments and have persistent self-doubt and fear of being exposed as a fraud. They struggle with attributing their performance to their competence and often attribute success to luck or other outside factors.

No matter what you call it, imposterism is real and present in the business world. It is not a disease or an abnormality, but can have a harmful impact on job performance and satisfaction, and eventually cause burnout.

Prevalence, Predictors, and Treatment of...

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5 Lessons I Learned Building My Portfolio

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you struggling to build your first portfolio?

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

STOP! Right where you are. Save yourself wasted time and effort by learning from my mistakes.

Here are some revelations I had while working on my portfolio:

Set realistic expectations for what your portfolio should look like based on your current abilities and experience as an instructional designer. If you are new to the field, aim to demonstrate your proficiency and understanding, instead of skill and expertise.

While the portfolios of experts and leading industry practitioners are great sources of inspiration, your portfolio will likely not look like theirs. As a novice, you do not have the experience to create a portfolio equivalent to the portfolios that took others years and sometimes a decade-plus to work up to.

Here are some examples of what your first portfolio website might look like:

Christine Prince

Bonnie Lou Davis

...

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