Watch CBSN Live

4 pro tips for job-hunting executives

Good news: As of Friday, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent, the lowest in 2-½ years. The bad news? The jobless rate is still 8.6 percent. If you're one of the millions of Americans looking for a job, then you might benefit from some resume and interview advice.

But senior employees and executives can benefit from somewhat different guidance than less seasoned job hunters. Colleen Aylward, a recruitment strategy expert and author of From Bedlam to Boardroom: How to Get a Derailed Executive Career Back on Track!, has some specific strategies you can employ.

Specifically, Aylward emphasizes:

"It's now up to you to gather your data, polish it up and position it where people will find you -- and that's one of the biggest shocks in the executive job seeker's world right now."

She has four nuggets to keep in mind when seeking a new role:

Create a digital brand by making use of social media: 89 percent of employers use some form of social media to identify job candidates, with LinkedIn leading the pack.

Clarify your strengths with specific examples: It's not the interviewer's job to figure out what your strengths might be -- it's yours. Don't expect a clever cover letter to open any doors; instead, pack your online resume with data and specific accomplishments.

Don't waste time with external executive recruiters: You should get in front of the internal corporate recruiters who are searching online. Help them do their job by researching companies online, locate potential jobs, and introduce yourself to prospective employers.

It's all about them, not you: Remember to emphasize what you can do for them. Define your strengths and determine specific areas where you can solve their business problems.

More on MoneyWatch:
-- How Facebook's Timeline Mode Is About to Impact Your Career
-- Hiring? 5 Ways to Use the Internet to Find the Best Employee
-- Top Resume Tips