linkedin billboardAre you at the point in your job search where you want to push past the basics and into the stuff that will take you to the next-level?

If you answered yes, then that means changing up what you’re doing on LinkedIn, and we’re not just talking about sprucing up your summary.

Here are a few next-level secrets we’ve discovered about using LinkedIn:

Don’t be afraid to break the mold

You should always craft a custom message for every connection request you send but don’t stop there! You should customize everything.

Let’s look at the generic “Thanks for endorsing me for…” prompt you receive after someone endorses you for a skill. What good does sending that message really do for you?

Why not send “Hey (first name)! Thank you for stopping by my profile and giving me an endorsement, how have you been?” instead of that robotic thank you.

It’s all about the human touch that seems to get lost in this technology driven world we’re living in. If you really want to make an impact, give your interactions that human touch every time. This applies to every interaction on LinkedIn, from those work-anniversary congratulations to the way you accept connection requests. Just adding a few personal lines will result in a big difference with your job search.

Don’t just use it for job searching

LinkedIn is definitely a powerful ally when you’re looking to leave your present company. You can optimize your profile so that it appeals to recruiters, reach out to others to set up informational interviews and, of course, you can view profiles and learn more about your dream company.

However, if you are only using LinkedIn for job search, you’re missing out on some serious career firepower like:

1). Listening in on relevant LinkedIn groups can help you or your team develop new products and services

2). Following newsfeeds of your competitor which allows you to stay updated on what’s happening i.e., new services or market gaps they might not fill

3). Viewing profiles of those who have RSVP’d to the next Meetup – kind of like a first handshake

All of this information is sitting there at your fingertips, so don’t let your account gather dust until it comes time to look for another job.

Think about others

Don’t think of LinkedIn as a billboard on this digital road, simply a place to broadcast information about yourself for the lucky individual who stumbles upon your profile. That’s a little one-sided, don’t you think?

Here’s a little tip: LinkedIn is not a billboard, it’s a bulletin board…

Do a little mind-flip and look at it as a dynamic place where you share resources, ideas and, most importantly, yourself with the LinkedIn world.

What does that mean? It means it’s not enough to just share updates, you should actively comment on and share others posts as well. It’s called making a proactive effort to engage with what your connections are doing.

Now, let’s talk about connecting. Building out your base of contacts is important but that’s just the first step. To really boost your connectivity, think about like-minded individuals you can introduce to each other. It shows the value you’re adding to their networks and, in turn, add more value to yours.

With these tips in mind, the next time you attend a networking event remember to balance your me-me responses with some we-we-we introductions!

With some well-placed keywords and a carefully crafted profile, you can have a powerful LinkedIn profile but to really boost it to the next level and see bigger results, get active in some new ways by using these tips!