No matter what your situation may be--a company founder or executive, a manager or other leader, or a front line employee--there will be times in your life when you're thinking about a career change.

Maybe you're ready to step up to a position with more authority and responsibility, or perhaps your once-promising startup sputtered out and you need to get back to a steady paycheck. (Research shows that company founders--especially male company founders--are at a significant competitive disadvantage when applying for jobs in the event their startup fails.) 

Whatever the reason behind your career change, the way people have traditionally prepared for these transitions is by preparing a great résumé. Today, of course, online career and job platforms like LinkedIn have taken over to a large degree.

Starting a job search can seem daunting, but there are plenty of things you can do to kickstart your hunt (some you may not have known or thought about). Here are 11 surprising hidden tips for landing your next job according to Blake Barnes, head of product for all things career-related at LinkedIn:

1. Be an early bird.

For job seekers, it's a competitive landscape out there. There are 100 million job applications on LinkedIn every month, but being one of the first to apply can increase your chances of landing a job by 4X. As you search for a job on LinkedIn, there are a variety of filter options available to you such as by location, industry, commute times, and even flexibility. You'll see a prompt to set up job alerts. Once you've set up your alerts, LinkedIn will send you a notification within minutes of a relevant job posting.  

2. Track the most relevant opportunities.

Get into the habit of checking and acting on job alert notifications promptly. After you've applied for a job, the new Jobs Tracker on the LinkedIn Jobs homepage will help you keep track of your saved and applied-to jobs so you can remember to follow up if you haven't heard back yet. 

3. Make your LinkedIn profile shine.

If you haven't set up a profile, take a few minutes to make sure you are representing yourself in the best possible way. Make sure you have a profile picture, relevant skills, experience, and location added so you show up in search when hirers are looking for candidates with your background. Use your summary section to paint a detailed picture of who you are and what you're looking for. Pro tip: try to use keywords that are in relevant job descriptions.

4. Signal you're open to opportunities.

Let recruiters know that you're open to new jobs by activating the Open to Job Opportunities tool on your LinkedIn profile. And if you're concerned your boss will be able to see that you're open to new prospects, don't worry. You can choose whether everyone on LinkedIn can see your status or just recruiters.

5. Unlock salary insights.

Salary is of course an important factor when deciding whether to apply for a job. Understanding salary ranges for jobs you're interested in can help you prepare for conversations with hiring managers and also enable you to decide which jobs might be the right fit for you. Now you can discover personalized insights about jobs where you can make more money with LinkedIn Salary so you can focus on pursuing opportunities that best meet your needs. 

6. Verify your skills.

Your skills and how they can translate to a new job can be a deciding factor for potential employers. Taking a Skill Assessment on LinkedIn will help you validate your skills and show up on your profile, which is one of the first places recruiters look when trying to fill a position. LinkedIn Learning also just released the most in-demand soft and hard skills companies need most in 2020, and is offering 15 free courses to help you learn them. Investing in these types of skills can be key to helping you stand out among the candidate pool and prepare you for the next step in your career. 

7. Tap into your network.

Through your LinkedIn network, you can get introduced to someone you might like to connect with, which increases your chances of getting hired by 9X. Simply click "get introduced" or you can ask for referrals from your connections directly from some job postings on LinkedIn. Also, make sure you've added the people who you interact with in your everyday life. You never know if a friend is connected to someone who works at your dream company.

8. Get interview ready.

LinkedIn found that 54 percent of jobseekers say the interview phase is "moderately to extremely challenging" due to two reasons: uncertainty and lack of confidence. Being prepared can make all the difference. LinkedIn's Interview Prep tools, part of LinkedIn's Premium career subscription, give you access to more than 15,000 learning courses, insights, and interview preparation. With Interview Prep, LinkedIn provides answers from hiring managers to common questions. You can also watch videos of the best approach to some of the toughest questions and send videos of your practice answers to connections for helpful feedback. 

9. Stay informed.

When researching companies you might be interested in working for, it's a good idea to be knowledgeable about the industry and its competitors. This is especially important before an interview. A great way to say informed is by following the companies on LinkedIn that you are most interested in, and by signing up for LinkedIn's Daily Rundown, which includes top professional news, trends, and career tips. To sign up, visit the notifications tab on the LinkedIn homepage. 

10. Keep up to speed on trends.

Staying up to date on the future of work and how the nature of work is evolving is important, especially if you're looking for a new job or line of work. LinkedIn's Hello Monday podcast, hosted by Jessi Hempel, covers the latest workplace trends and features influential guests such as actress Laura Linney and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

11. Make recruiters come to you.

Access free LinkedIn Learning courses, such as "Making Recruiters Come to You," to pick up tips and tricks for attracting recruiters to you. Tips include how to make yourself more easily discoverable and connect with recruiters. Always a good thing when you're ready to shift your career gears.