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- Something new is coming to 3DPrinting.org. A new focus on education and placing a 3D Printer in every school that wants one. Stay tuned!
First Steps – The LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a great place to start if you are entering the job market and are seeking careers in 3D printing. Singing up for LinkedIn is free, although there is a premium option. The free option, however, allows access to most features and is a perfectly acceptable place to start.
While setting up your profile, pretend that you are writing a resume and that at every stage in the process, a potential employer can see what you have written. This is why I recommend using a word processor to start with so that you can write out each individual section and then copy and paste the work into LinkedIn. This way, your work remains entirely in your control, and it will minimize spelling, grammar, and other foibles that may turn off a prospective employer.
If you have recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, art, or something similarly related to 3D printing, you will want to start networking with your college contacts. If you use Facebook as most people do, then you may start there to give yourself some ideas of who you could add to your page. From there, focus on adding your professors, other friends in your field of study, and anyone with whom you did any field experience.
Whatever you do, remember that this is a job market of careers in 3D printing, and you do not want to add anyone who does not help further that goal. LinkedIn is not just a social network like Facebook, it is a professional network of contacts and prospective employers. The more selective you are at adding contacts, the better the LinkedIn engine can suggest future contacts for you as well.
Recommendations and Endorsements
One very cool and useful feature of LinkedIn is its built in endorsement and recommendations system. Once you have added all your contacts, you should go about asking close contacts like professors and field experience supervisors for a recommendation. You may want to try and kill two birds with one stone here and ask for a paper recommendation to offer with your paper resume and for a digital one on LinkedIn to help you stand out from among the thousands of other candidates.
Careers in 3D printing are growing and growing as more and more companies use the technology. To stand out on LinkedIn is increasingly important as a result. Along with the more formal system of recommendations on LinkedIn, there is also the endorsement system.
The endorsement system presents your contacts with a set of your skills (you will want to be sure to deliberately select theses skills with endorsements in mind) for endorsement every time they visit your page. It is almost like a rating system, but it is more yes or no instead of rating one through five stars. Do not be afraid to ask people to visit your site and endorse you. There is no negative option – meaning that your contacts cannot say you are not good at a skill. They would just simply abstain from rating it if that was truly what they thought. As a result, asking deliberately for endorsements is a safe endeavor.
Best of luck on finding your best fit in careers in 3D printing!