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LinkedIn Tips and Traps - Step 4 - Positions

Comments: info@hpalumni.org (Updated Feb 20, 2023.)

Be sure to check your LinkedIn profile. You may be surprised. You want recruiters and former co-workers to find you.

1. Many have found that Hewlett-Packard Company positions on their LinkedIn profiles were changed to Hewlett Packard Enterprise -- even positions that ended years before HPE even existed or positions that had nothing to do with what became HPE products. In addition, logos on many positions were changed from the internationally-recognized "hp" logo to a wordless version of the HPE green-rectangle logo. Recruiters view illogical entries -- such as HPE employment before Nov 2015 -- as signs of a fake profile. (This happened because the HP company account on LinkedIn was apparently taken over by HPE.)

2. LinkedIn has been standardizing company names, with odd results. LinkedIn now tries to force each position on your profile into one of the companies in their company database. This increases the chance that a recruiter or former co-worker will find you -- but can have odd results.

You may wish to emphasize (or de-emphasize) some of your background by breaking out (or merging) separate positions. If so, you need to carefully edit your profile to pick the right company from similarly-named companies.

Note that organizational units such as divisions, subsidiaries, HP Labs, etc. that were formerly listed as though they were separate companies are being eliminated from the database of companies. You can mention an acquired company or an organizational unit in the Title and/or Description for a position.

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How to work on your positions (and correct the company names and logos.)

Key issues:

- You need to decide how to present yourself and your experience to recruiters and hiring managers. (Most don't know or care about industry history.)

- You want to be found by a recruiter who is searching for people with your specific knowledge or searching for people from a particular company due to experience or culture.

Before updating your LinkedIn profile, click "Me" under your photo > "Settings & Privacy > "How others see your LinkedIn activity" in the left-hand menu > change "Share job changes, education changes, and work anniversaries from profile" to "No." Otherwise, LinkedIn will notify all your connections -- including managers and co-workers -- about every change with "Congratulate Mary Smith on the new position" if you have merely updated a position description.

Click on your photo (or icon) at upper right > "View profile." Hover over the position and click the pencil icon that appears on the right.

The gray "X" in the upper right corner of the popup will leave the position as it was. "Delete" in the lower left removes the entire position from your profile, which requires confirmation.

For each employer, click for HPAA's specific instructions based on extensive experiments with LinkedIn's system: 

HP - HPInc - HPE - DXC - MicroFocus




All HP-Related Companies -- HP, HPE, Agilent, Compaq, DXC, EDS, Keysight, Micro Focus, Tandem.


Tricks and traps:

- To help you be found when recruiters search for specific terms, you may want to enter separate positions of a few years' duration for each major change of assignment. Also shows that you have been growing and learning.

- Enter a new position if your employer was acquired or spun-off. A recruiter searching for someone with, say, a strong EDS background may not find you if your EDS training and experience are lost in an entry under Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

- Recruiters check for inconsistencies in profiles -- such as years that overlap between positions or companies that didn't exist in the years in question. (For example, one recruiter looking for exHP folks said that a claim to have worked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise before Nov 2015 was a sign of a fake profile.) This issue is especially complex for ex-EDS folks. Check dates on HPAA's EDS Benefits Page

- Be sure to go over your past positions. Change the wording to past tense. Summarize your accomplishments in the position. You may want to give the reason for leaving: "Left when the operation was moved to Alaska."

- If the position was at a subsidiary or joint venture, you may want to select the parent company name and logo -- but include the subsidiary or joint venture name in the Title and Description entries for the position. "Enrollment Coordinator (NHIC, subsidiary of EDS)" "Design Engineer (Yokogawa-Hewlett-Packard)" In any case, you should mention both companies. You want the prestige of the well-known parent company, but a recruiter may be trying to find someone with previous experience at the subsidiary or joint venture. When you arrange for employment verification, that position may be listed either way at the employment verification service or on copies you submit of paystubs or other evidence of employment. It is vital that your profile or résumé not appear to be fake.

- If you are looking for a new position on a certain technology or industry, you may want to include it in the position title so that it stands out: "Senior Engineer - Operating System Kernel" "Program Manager - Automotive Manufacturing." Definitely include it in the Description section for the position.

- If you worked primarily with one customer, account, supplier, or partner in a given position, you may want to include that name in the Title and/or Description section of a position. "Program Manager (Client: Acme Turboencabulator Division)" "Account Manager - Hogwarts School." A recruiter may be trying to find someone with previous experience at that account.

- Be careful as to what you disclose about your work -- competitors, industrial spies, and foreign agents are searching too. Don't inadvertently disclose employer or client strategy, future products, or trade secrets -- or even project codenames. Applies to everyone -- a researcher can piece together a lot of intelligence about your employer by reading multiple LinkedIn profiles. People who work in sensitive roles -- finance, computer security, classified -- recommend special care in what you disclose on LinkedIn. Your current employer may be checking profiles -- or your employer may have rules about what you can disclose.

- If you have an unusual title that is unique to that employer, also include an equivalent industry-standard title:
HP's "Distinguished Technologist" may not get you found in a recruiter's search (and may sound like you made up the title <smile>.)
Try something like this: "Senior Consulting Engineer -- HP title: Distinguished Technologist"

- Some titles may appear to outsiders to be exaggerated or pretentious. For example, HP's use of "global" in some titles where the worldwide scope of the job is obvious from the job description.

- Consider how much you want to disclose about yourself via your paid or volunteer positions and your LinkedIn group memberships. Recruiters pay thousands of dollars per recruiter per year to search for candidates -- they have full access regardless of your privacy settings. On the other hand, something unique about yourself can differentiate you from the crowd. Or you may want to avoid wasting time on job leads where a key aspect of your personal life would be an issue. You can describe volunteer political, community, or church work without mentioning the party, candidate, cause, or religious denomination.

- As with your résumé, have a couple of sharp-eyed folks proofread your LinkedIn profile. You will want to save a copy of your carefully-developed profile anyhow, so copy-and-paste the entire page into a word processor and run spell-check. Common errors that will only be found by a human proofreader: "Hewlett-Packard Enterprises" (HPE doesn't use the hyphen and "Enterprise" is singular.)  "Manger" instead of "Manager." "America's" instead of "Americas" in a job title (your job covers the Americas -- North, Central, and South.) "Principle Engineer" instead of "Principal Engineer" (see dictionary.com: Principal vs Principle.)

- If you want your connections -- including managers and co-workers -- to be notified of after you've finished updating your profile, click on your photo (or icon) at upper right > "Settings & Privacy > "Privacy" and change "Sharing profile edits" to "Yes" -- and then make a trivial change to your profile -- such as adding a space at the end of a line.

Next step -- Networking:  Use LinkedIn's networking features to find former co-workers who know you and your work.

Return to first article in this series: "LinkedIn Tips and Traps - How LinkedIn Really Works."

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