Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to the questions that candidates ask everyday.
I’m keen to get into communications but I haven’t got any PR job experience. Can you help me?
Unfortunately we won’t be able to help you as our clients are very specific about what they’re looking for, and always require existing, relevant PR or communications experience.
Your best course of action is to contact companies direct. They do genuinely look at CVs sent on a speculative basis and are often more open to prospective candidates with differing backgrounds. To draw up a list of companies to contact you can refer to Hollis, the press and public relations annual, or look in PR Week and the Media section of Monday’s Guardian newspaper. Then send your CV with a concise paragraph summarizing your experience plus your current salary level, to the relevant contact. This may be either an executive (MD, divisional director, head of communications etc) or someone in the Human Resources department.
What kind of companies do you work with?
We work with every kind of organization from major blue chip companies to public sector bodies, trade federations, professional services companies, charities and PR consultancies. We have clients in just about every industry – if they have a communications function, we will work with them.
How do I register with you?
You can email a current CV to us via 'Send CV'. Please include details of your current salary on the covering note, and a brief overview of what you are looking for in your next move. These will be treated in strictest confidence. If you have relevant experience, one of our consultants will then get in touch with you to discuss how we can help with your job search.
What happens when I come in to register?
Your meeting with us will be a relaxed, informal session. In the first instance you will be asked to fill in our confidential candidate form, which covers the basics such as your contact details, eligibility to work in the UK, current salary and job title, and expected salary/job title. You will then meet with a consultant, who will ask you to talk through your communications experience to date, giving specific examples to illustrate any particular skills or expertise you have developed. He/she will also want to gain an understanding of how and why your career has progressed to date, and will then discuss in detail what your expectations are for a new role. The consultant will then explain how we work with candidates, and what you can expect from the relationship. If we are currently handling any job briefs that are relevant to you, these will be presented to you at the meeting.
Will you definitely find me a job?
Once we have met you and discussed your experience and expertise, we will work as hard as we can to provide you with relevant, interesting opportunities, but we cannot guarantee to find you a job. As a specialist recruitment firm, our clients ask us to source candidates with specific experience and expertise, so we focus on finding the right person for each job, rather than a job for everyone.
Should I hand in my notice before I look for another job?
Unless you have an adequate financial cushion which allows you not to work while job hunting (for example, in the case of redundancy), we would never recommend that you hand your notice in before beginning your job search. The communications job market is highly competitive, and it may take several months for you to find the job that’s right for you.
How easy is to get freelance PR work?
The freelance and interim contract market is buoyant, but very unpredictable. We advise all our freelance candidates to maximize their chances of finding work with personal networking and industry contact, alongside registering with VMA Selection.
Will you be able to advise me on how best to progress my career?
We try to foster a consultative and long-lasting relationship with all our candidates, so we’re very happy to offer impartial advice on all aspects of the communications job market, and how to make the best decisions for your own personal development.
Do I have to go for all the jobs you send me?
There is no obligation whatsoever to apply for the roles we present to you. However, we will only talk to you about roles which are in line with your expectations, as discussed at the initial meeting, so we would ask you to consider each brief on its merits and give us constructive feedback if you don’t think it’s the right opportunity for you.
How do I know where my CV is being sent?
VMA Group will hold all your details in strictest confidence. We will never present your CV to a client without first discussing the brief with you, and gaining your permission to put you forward.