With universities and colleges kicking out for the summer, many graduates and school-leavers looking for a job in PR and/or marketing may not be sure where to start their search. Alongside these newbies, experienced PRs moving into the region may be looking for their next move.
To save you some time, we’ve summarised five recruitment agencies specialising in finding junior to senior level PR, marketing, communications and creative/digital professionals for nearly every agency vacancy going and some in-house jobs too – so they should always be your first step towards finding the right job. We also asked our contacts at each agency to give you their one essential piece of advice when searching for a job in these demanding sectors:
- AF Selection, Sutton Coldfield: Located on Duke Street, AF Selection is one of the oldest advertising, marketing, creative, digitaland PR agencies in Birmingham – having been set up in 1988. Its success has seen it expand to encompass vacancies across England through its bases in Birmingham, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Manchester.We rate this agency for its invaluable, free online guides. Visit the website to find some really useful tools such as finding jobs by location – so all positions in say Birmingham are in one place, interview tips and explanations on what each position involves through its ‘Day In The Life Of’ section.
“Try and gain experience within the sector that you’re interested in via placements through university or during your school holidays. We appreciate this is easier said than done, and will often mean working for free, but all experience is invaluable when trying to make your CV stand out from all the others. Also, make sure you’re your experience features first on your CV and the skills you’ve learned are highlighted – clients won’t spend hours trying to find the information. Finally, make sure there are no spelling errors in your CV by proof-reading it – don’t just leave it to spell check!” (Emma Tee, Director)
- Blue Skies, Stratford-Upon-Avon: Set up in 1998, this agency recruits all types of marketing and creative positions, as well as PR and digital roles, and covers areas outside of the Midlands, including London, SW, Home Counties, and Manchester. It is primarily a marketing recruitment specialist though.The consultants are split into individual teams focusing on specific sectors – so your contact will always be the same and they will focus only on searching positions within their own section e.g. marketing, creative or PR. As such, you may need more than one consultant if you’re looking for a job in PR and marketing.
Blue Skies’ Quick Job Search allows you to see what vacancies are currently available under selected keywords, so you can search for agency and in-house jobs across the whole of England.
“Think about your reasons for seeking a new opportunity and what your objectives are, as you will need to have a clear focus on what you are looking for before you start the search for your ideal job. We are still in an employer’s market so companies are being quite selective when recruiting and are waiting for the right skills match before employing anyone. As such, make sure you are committed to the process from the beginning and, above all, be patient. The recruitment process for your ideal vacancy won’t always happen overnight.” (NarissaCuskelly, Senior PR & Events Consultant)
- 2nd City Resourcing, Birmingham: Based in Birmingham city centre, on a side street off the main shopping street by the Bullring, this agency specialises in marketing, digital and communications jobs – so isn’t one for any graduates looking for a design/creative job. A very successful agency, with over 99 per cent of introductions made resulting in long-term appointments, 2nd City Resourcing has individual permanent and interim vacancies’ lists, depending on your needs.It also offers additional services such as writing CVs at a cost of £150 inc VAT, to maximise your chances of getting an interview. And, in advance of those interviews, 2nd City Resourcing also holds paid-for personalised coaching sessions to help you prepare.
For those further afield, this agency also has a base on Wheeler Gate, Nottingham and another in London.
“Employers are looking for what you’ll contribute to their business, how you’ll make it happen and to know that, when necessary, you’re prepared to sacrifice your own agenda for the good of the company. Our top tip, before you start your next job search, is to think about what you have to offer – what have you done that’s created improvements, streamlined systems, enhanced team performance? – and then demonstrate your abilities, highlighting how you have delivered business improvements in the past.” (Kathryn Gallan, MD)
- Soap Recruitment, Sutton Coldfield: A brand new PR, media and marketingrecruitment agency which only opened last year, Soap Recruitment has certainly made a name for itself in a short time, thanks to its uber-friendly ex-PR staff.With over 30 years’ successful marketing experience (agency and client side) this team perfectly understand how the marketing and creative industries work and are committed to finding a position to suit your skills rather than what they have available and are trying to fill.
Please also be aware of the fact that Soap Recruitment’s range of vacancies are nationwide, so double check a vacancy’s location before applying/arranging an interview.
“When you get your first ‘chemistry’ meeting, or interview, make sure that you go prepared and demonstrate to the agency that you’ve done your homework on their business and the clients it works with. Read the trade media, look at influential websites and blogs, contribute to forums and start writing your own blog as these all helpshowcase your knowledge and talent. Have a high-impact portfolio which demonstrates several in-depth case studies and provides a good insight into your style of work, idea generation and approach to problem-solving. If you haven’t got a portfolio, why not take a real-life case study from the agency’s website and craft your own solution and how you would have approached the client’s problem? Finally, just smile, be confident and have a few ‘killer’ questions up your sleeve.” (Mark Manton, MD)
- Pitch Consultants, Birmingham: Prime positioning in Birmingham’s iconic Custard Factory makes this agency easy to find. It’s “an award winning recruitment consultancy specialising in the Marketing, PR, Digitaland Creative industries”.Ever professional, with lots of different level vacancies, this agency won’t put you forward for positions that are out of your comfort zone/experience (one of our team found their first job through them – that’s how we know). The website requires registration but it also offers a quick and easy search tool that you can easily categorise depending on your location, the type of job you’re after, what salary you’re looking for etc.
In addition, Pitch has taken its recruitment initiative even further with the launch of a graduate section that focuses on new talent fresh out of school, college and university. Its initiative, B-Hive, identifies and showcases the best emerging talent – and agencies to work for – across the region.
We’d love to hear about your experiences job hunting for PR and marketing roles in the comments below – good luck with your job hunting!