Your University Name    the Competitive Edge

by Darrell Gurney

Overview/What You Will Learn

It’s important to think differently in order to get doors to open for you along your career path.  Darrell Gurney, a Recruiter and Career Advisor who specializes in Networking, has made his own career encourages you to build your career through connections and relationships, focusing on who you know, not what you know. He also advocates working to get in the back door of a company, as everyone else is trying to get in through the front.

Key Points – Gurney’s 10 Executive Keys

  1. The best way to get a job is NOT to look for one! You’ll be more relaxed and confident in your approach if you don’t look from a position of neediness.  Instead, find a reason for meeting people other than your need for a job.
  1. An ounce of research is worth a pound of job search. People will open up to you – especially students – when you’re doing research. So, create a project that gets you out talking to people and that gets you in front of influential people.
  1. A “question-able” person creates enthusiastic relationships.  Build your research project around what fascinates you and what you’re genuinely interested in and come up with 20 questions about it.
  1. You can never have too much information, and the higher the altitude the better. The more you can meet with executives higher up in an organization, the more likely your chance of making the right connections.
  1. A friend in need repulsion doth breed.  Focus on information and relationships, NOT on needing a job. This is what opens doors.
  1. Call me expert and I’ll open my door.  Show interest in people and their work, and they’ll be more likely to want to help you.  Extensively research beforehand those you’ll be meeting with so you can discuss their careers.
  1. Eyes-to-eyes gets you the prize.  Online relationships are fine but face-to-face is far more effective. Get in front of your research subjects.
  1. Build relationship equity one meeting at a time.  Become the “fascinated interviewer” who is interested rather than interesting. Your subjects will want to start doing for you.
  1. Top of mind is easy to find. Stay in touch with those in your network so you remain at the top of their minds when an opportunity arises. Send out update emails every 30-60 days about what you’re doing, even after you get a job.
  1. Treat yourself like a business to stay in business.  Your career is a business, so never stop building the relationships and connections that help feed it and keep it going.

Your Next Steps / Tips for Success

  • Come up with a research project you genuinely care about, and start talking to people to get their perspective on the subject.   Build your career one meeting at a time, and meet face-to-face as often as possible.

  • Stay in touch with everyone in your network, even after you get a job.  You never know when the relationship will come in handy again.

Expert BIO
by Darrell Gurney

Darrell W. Gurney is a 25+-year recruiter and career advisor who coaches professionals at all levels to make profitable career transitions or to create thriving businesses.  He is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), Certified Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) and Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC).  Darrell is the author of Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest, which applies tribal dynamics to network and get known. Future corporate leaders must have the ability to put 'career tribes' in place and start building teams even before they're hired.  Darrell, first book, Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters. The book has become a highly touted resource in the careers field.  Microsoft, America Online, Hunt-Wesson, and American Express have all utilized Darrell's professional recruitment services

To learn more about Darrell’s work and his advice on networking, visit his web site at