Stand out from the crowd says VP of Twitter Europe, Bruce Daisley

19 March 2018

This article is a part of our Skills Young People Need for Work in 2030 campaign, with the i newspaper, helping share what skills leaders of today think are going to be the top ways young people can prepare for the careers of tomorrow. Be sure to follow #Skills2030 to see their top advice over March.


Twitter supremo tells young jobseekers how to stand out from the crowd

Twitter supremo Bruce Daisley has told school pupils they should never underestimate the power of grabbing people’s attention as they prepare to enter the world of work. The social media network’s vice president for Europe said it was important to try to stand out from the crowd while trying to get that vital first job. He was speaking at the 1,500-pupil Chorlton High School in Manchester as part of the Skills 2030 campaign by the charity Speakers for Schools.

i has launched a partnership with the charity founded in 2011 by the ITV political editor Robert Peston, which is aimed at giving state secondary school pupils access to influential people who were once the preserve of the public school old boys’ network.

Mr Daisley, who runs Twitter’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told the school’s pupils how he had grown up on a council estate in Birmingham and there was “no way” he could take advantage of any professional connections while looking for a career.

“As I was growing up, I was like everyone else thinking ‘how am I going to get a job?’ I didn’t really know what I was going to do,” he said. “Probably the best advice I could give you is to never under estimate the power of getting people’s attention.”

Mr Daisley told pupils how, after university, he used techniques including writing jobseeking letters on yellow notepaper to stand out from the crowd and ended up drawing a four-page cartoon comic-strip CV that he sent to 50 record companies.

“I felt that, if I was going to be the average candidate, I wouldn’t get the job. I’d applied for a few jobs and heard nothing for them. I hadn’t even had a reply. So I thought I’d do something different to get myself noticed,” he said.

“It was extraordinary. I started getting letters back. People started phoning me. One guy said it was the best thing he had ever seen. I was just trying to get people’s attention.”

“I think the disadvantages I’d had probably meant I tried a little bit harder. I tried to work out what I did have and the way I could use that to my advantage.”

Mr Daisley worked for Capital Radio and Emap before eventually becoming YouTube director for Google and then Twitter’s UK managing director, and then becoming Twitter’s vice president for Europe.

He said: “What has struck me is that it’s far easier to get people’s attention now.” People who run Twitter, Facebook and Google in the UK, none of us ever get letters. If you have a dream. It might be working in the media, working at a lawyer’s firm, working in books, whatever you love to do, what you tend to see is that, generally, those people don’t get letters anymore.

“I’m still convinced that if you show you’re enthusiastic, that you have a dream of working for them, you can get people’s attention. Quite often it’s that inventiveness and ingenuity that captures people’s attention. Had I not tried those things at the start of my career, I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have been lucky enough to get the job I have today.”

You can read this article on the i newspaper’s website here.

Our Skills 2030 campaign will continue with more speakers across the UK. Keep up with the coverage of this talk series here.