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3. Strengthen LinkedIn Profile (Based on HPAA member discussions.)

Steps: 1. LinkedIn tips and traps  2. Check account settings  3. Optimize profile  4. Optimize positions  5. Use networking features  6. Get the emails you want

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

Trap: Before making changes, be sure to turn off the share with network feature -- unless you want your current managers and co-workers to find out that you are on the move.


Most job openings are for someone to solve a specific problem -- usually on a project that is behind schedule. Companies are generally not interested in your versatility.

You must assume that the recruiters, clerks, and "AI" bots searching for candidates know nothing about technology or the industry. They search for specific words or phrases, based on the job req they are trying to fill.

- Explicitly cover your technical specialties, experience, and skills.

- Include alternative terms -- formal and informal; current and traditional terminology. A search for "Unix" will miss you if you only mention HP-UX.

- To show that you are up-to-date, also include current fashionable terminology for your field -- for example, "user experience" in addition to "user interface."

- As with your résumé, describe results, accomplishments, and contributions where possible, rather than mere laundry lists of responsibilities. This is a sales presentation -- not an autobiography.

- Emphasize action and speed -- to counter clichés about HP. Summarized by retired HP executive and influential board member Dick Hackborn as "studying and analyzing without implementation, procrastination caused by trying to achieve consensus." Getting back to the HP Way  

- Avoid generic self-praise and standard résumé clichés. Don't say it -- show it by citing specific examples. How to convert clichés into specifics.

- You can emphasize or de-emphasize some of your background. As one member put it, "If Bill Hewlett's ghost appeared and asked me to do this kind of work again, I wouldn't do it. Why the heck am I featuring it?"

- You can de-emphasize your age: LinkedIn advice on ageism

- You can get your personnel file to assist in developing your résumé: HP  HPE.

- Find references to yourself or products or products you worked on in Measure or the HP Journal  -- all back issues of which are available online: HP publications

Tricks and traps:

- Check your Headline. Unless you override it, LinkedIn generates a bland Headline by pasting together your current title and current employer. Change the useless robotic headline so that it truly characterizes you. "In 5 seconds of looking at your headline, can people easily know what you do / what you offer."  Do Just One Thing -- Add a Good Headline  --LinkedIn coach Sandra Clark. (If you have edited your Headline, make sure that it doesn't contradict the current employer that LinkedIn automatically displays in the next line.)

- Limit the personal detail in your profile and posts. Your public profile is visible to phishers, identity thieves, and scammers. Plus Stalkers and Harassers.

- Positioning yourself for recruiters and hiring managers. Consider how much you want to disclose about yourself via your photo, paid or volunteer employment positions, references to your interests, and your LinkedIn group memberships. Recruiters pay thousands of dollars per recruiter per year to search for candidates -- they reportedly have almost 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 list volunteer political, community, or church work without mentioning the party, candidate, cause, or denomination.

- One member commented that if you are willing to consider a job at a startup, don't use a snapshot with your family -- or mention any non-work activities at all. <smile>

- Be careful as to what you disclose about your work. Competitors, tech reporters, industry analysts -- and even foreign agents -- are searching too. Don't inadvertently disclose employer or client strategy, future products, or trade secrets -- even project codenames. A researcher can piece together a lot of intelligence about an employer by reading multiple LinkedIn profiles.

- People who work in sensitive roles -- finance, computer security, classified -- recommend special care.

- As with your résumé, have a couple of sharp-eyed folks proofread your LinkedIn profile and positions. 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."

Recommended articles:

- Improve your chances of being found by a human or a bot. LinkedIn coach Carol Kaemmerer explains: Why Less Isn't More On LinkedIn

- LinkedIn when re-entering the workforce. Coach Sandra Clark: Workforce Re-Entry Part 1  Part 2

Question? Email: info@hpalumni.org  (Oct 2, 2023) 

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

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

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