Finding a new job is a top priority for many workers in 2014, with 83% of Americans saying they plan on switching careers. Considering the upswing in job hunting, Allison & Taylor, an employment verification firm, offers 10 employment trends that potential job candidates should consider while searching – ideas that reflect many of the changes and the new normal in the HR world.

Job seekers need effective online résumés

For most mid- to large-size companies, job seekers can expect to fill out online applications because it allows employers to using applicant-tracking software. With this software, the computer system filters through all online résumés to find the best matches.

Apply in person

While more employers are relying on technology for hiring, applying in person can also be effective. The job seeker should dress in his or her most professional clothes and drop off résumés printed on high-quality paper. Often, the receptionist will hand deliver the résumé to the hiring manager, and it could provide opportunities for networking.

Get help from employment-related organizations

By enlisting the help of employment-related organizations, job seekers can find information they need about their rights. These organizations are dedicated to providing education to workers, employers, legal representatives and community groups about fair work and related public policies.

More remote and freelancing opportunities are available

Physical distance is not the employment barrier it once was. By allowing remote working and freelancing, employers can access the best talent throughout the nation and even the globe.  

Employers are looking at your social media accounts

A potential employer will search your background on the Web, and that includes your social media accounts. Job seekers should ensure their online presence projects a professional image. Employers are also turning to electronic reference systems, which rank an employee's performance according to a scale. Although the content is factual, it can limit favorable assessments. Before leaving a company, an employee should negotiate future reference terms. 

References are more important than ever

A résumé helps secure the interview, but references are what wins jobs, especially when the decision is close. There is often more than one qualified job candidate, and a professional-looking reference list with good contacts goes a long way in differentiating candidates.

New demographics are taking over

As baby boomers are retiring from their upper-level management positions, more employment opportunities on the lower levels are becoming available as mid-level workers are being promoted. This makes staying in touch with baby boomer references even more important because their contact information could change.

Stay in contact with former employers

Hiring is growing, and companies that underwent layoffs recently may be looking to bring on more employees. Often, these companies are open to hiring former employees because they are already familiar with their work. Given that those employees are already familiar with the corporate culture, they also have an easier time making the transition. Staying in contact is also considered good business etiquette.

Modernize your reference list

With a modernized reference list, job seekers can impress potential employers with their qualifications. A modernized reference list names the attributes of the job seeker that references can support.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often used by employers in the job search to find potential employees who fit their needs. Without a LinkedIn profile, job seekers could be overlooked.

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