Michelle Smithson is the PR and Communications Manager of the CV-Library Ltd. The CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job site. Candidates are able to apply directly to over 125,000 live vacancies from across the UK, covering over 70 different sectors.
Pretty impressive right? Now imagine being the PR and Communications Manager of the CV-Library Ltd. Communicating messages to thousands of people and also being able to change focus within a moments notice.
Michelle Smithson is that person and here we find out how to steal her job. Pen’s and pad’s on the ready. Let’s go.
Name: Michelle Smithson
Job title: PR and Communications Manager
Company: CV-Library Ltd (www.cv-library.co.uk)
What does your job role entail?
Running the PR and communications team at CV-Library. As the UK’s largest job board, our business covers a number of different sectors and is constantly growing and evolving, so it’s my job to make sure that everyone outside the company hears about our exciting developments and news stories. This can include speaking to our 9 million candidates, updating all of our clients or liaising with the media.
Describe your working day or week?
The reason I love my job is because every day is different from the last. It’s a massively varied role that covers a number of different areas. Sometimes I’ll spend the day in the city meeting with journalists, other times I’ll spend the day in the office writing copy, researching projects or analysing data. But wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I’m keeping track of the news – I like to know what’s happening in our sector, the jobs market and our economy to make sure that everything we communicate is relevant, interesting and timely.
What key skills do you need to do your job?
You have to be able to multi-task and change your priorities in an instant. My role is often dictated by what’s happening in the media, so I have to be flexible and able to drop something mid-project or change focus with no hesitation. You also have to be analytical, inquisitive and happy working at a fast-pace – a big part of my job is accurately crunching data to find trends and create stories quickly so that we are always ahead of our competition. It’s a full-on job, so loving what you do is essential, it would be impossible to constantly come up with new ideas if you weren’t passionate about your role.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
The variety and scope on offer. It was a relatively new department when I joined CV-Library, so having the opportunity to build and develop a successful team was attractive. I’m fortunate to work for great people that encourage new ideas and trust in their staff’s abilities, which is not always the case at other companies. Having creative freedom was appealing and has been every bit as rewarding as I hoped it would be.
Best part of your job?
Meeting people. I love socialising and chatting to new people, so attending events or meeting with press are my favourite bits of my job… probably because it doesn’t feel like work!
Worst part of your job?
Early mornings. I’m not a morning person. I have to drink at least 2 cups of coffee before I even get out of bed, so breakfast meetings are the bane of my life! Luckily I don’t have them very often.
Most memorable moment at work?
Chasing a naked cowboy around London. It was in a previous job. Don’t ask.
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
Aside from the obvious PR and marketing courses, English Language is a good one to go for. Having exceptional spelling and grammar is essential to the job role and will strongly dictate your success. Studying this at A Level or as a degree will certainly help you as you progress.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) courses are also very good and provide excellent qualifications that are recognised in the industry. For anyone that isn’t keen on going to university, these are an excellent alternative.
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
Yes. I’m a strong believer in experience. I didn’t go to university myself, but did complete my CIM alongside my first marketing job, which was great. However, the one thing that has always helped me get to where I am now is passion and experience. I’ve always taken the time to meticulously understand the media and gain as much writing experience as possible. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and clear on where you want to be, then investing your own time in personal development and gaining experience, definitely goes a long way to achieving your goals.
Give us a tip on how to steal your job.
Be proactive and persistent – if you want something then go and get it. The worst anyone can do is say no. And if they do, don’t give up; try again. If you want something badly enough, then you’ll get it in the end.
Follow Michelle on twitter @MichelleCVLib