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LinkedIn Tips and Traps

This information is based on experimentation and research -- plus extensive online discussions and private communications with HPAA members.
Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org   (Updated November 23, 2017.)


Even it not currently looking for a job, you need to be on LinkedIn -- the free directory of everyone in high-tech.

- LinkedIn is especially powerful for mature workers -- it helps you reconnect with people who know you and your work.

- Recruiters pay $9,000 per year to search for you -- and have full access regardless of your privacy settings.

- The most common advice about LinkedIn is counterproductive. (And don't fall for a LinkedIn trick). Account settings

- How to be found by recruiters, clerks, and robots who know nothing about technology or the industry. Profile

- The names and logos of companies you worked for may have been changed by HP without your knowledge. Positions

- How to avoid letting promoters, scammers, and fakes use your network. Networking

- LinkedIn sends you emails you don't want -- and doesn't send you emails you do want. Emails

Why LinkedIn? Comments from HPAA members:

"Got a call from a recruiter who found me on LinkedIn. Led to a job with higher pay and rewards. My current job description had the primary skill my new employer was looking for. If I didn't have a profile, they wouldn't have found me."  

"Before I meet with someone for the first time, I view their profile for common interests and potential conversation topics. After I have met someone, I connect on LinkedIn."

"I'm diligent about keeping my profile updated -- it attracts inquiries about my consulting work. This often leads to a great contract." 

"We're all in business today. There's very little job security -- and we have to keep up with the network of people we know."

How LinkedIn works:

LinkedIn works differently than you might think:

- As with every free online service, you are not the customer -- you are the product. Recruiters pay $9,000 per recruiter per year to search for candidates -- they have full access regardless of your privacy settings. You need to carefully manage your LinkedIn activities and your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters can search in three ways: Search demo for recruiters.

- The searching works both ways. You can search LinkedIn to reconnect with people who know you and your work -- or to find ex-HPers where you would like to work. Very powerful for job-hunting.

- LinkedIn keeps your email address private. Each message you send via LinkedIn -- and each message sent to you by a colleague or recruiter. -- uses a LinkedIn email address based on a random message number unique to that message.

- Much of the advice about using LinkedIn is for those seeking sales leads or promoting a business -- instead of for those looking for a job or building their career. Common advice about flooding LinkedIn with posts to promote your "personal brand" can get you in trouble with LinkedIn -- and will turn off recruiters and hiring managers.

- Consensus is that a paid LinkedIn membership is of little value over a free membership -- unless you are seeking sales leads or promoting a business.

- Membership in LinkedIn groups, such as the HPAA's 81,000-member "HP Connections" networking group, improves searching.

- LinkedIn is a very powerful tool -- but you have to put some effort into it.

LinkedIn works in three ways:

- Recruiters and hiring managers who are looking for your skills and experience will find you if you have a well-thought-out profile.

- LinkedIn suggests "People you may know" -- based on where and when you worked and your connections in common. The suggestions are uncanny -- and actually fun.

- Use LinkedIn's search feature to reconnect with people who know you and your work -- or to find ex-HPers where you would like to work. See LinkedIn article on searching for people, jobs, and companies.

The quickest way to strengthen your LinkedIn presence is to follow these steps in order:

1. Check critical LinkedIn account settings so that you receive job leads and requests to connect, have a little privacy, and don't drown in emails.

2. Optimize your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters and hiring managers will find you.

3. Optimize your positions so that your profile displays your experience but doesn't look fake -- and so you can be found.

4. Use LinkedIn's networking features to find former co-workers who know you and your work.

5. Get the emails you want LinkedIn sends you emails you don't want -- and doesn't send you emails you do want.


Next step -- Account Settings: Check your critical LinkedIn account settings

Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org

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