Investor relations specialists are employed by venture capital firms and also public relations and marketing firms that provide investor relations services to VC firms. There are more than 1,000 VC firms in the United States—and many more throughout the world. Many U.S.-based firms are headquartered on the East Coast and in California. In addition to working in the VC industry, IR specialists are employed by many public companies. Many work in related fields such as public relations and marketing.
It’s a challenge to land an investor relations job at a venture capital firm because the field is small and many managing partners prefer to hire people they’ve worked with or those who have been recommended by colleagues.
One strategy to raise your profile is to seek out job opportunities at a marketing or public relations firm that provides investor relations services to VC firms. Once hired, you’ll work as a member of a team that works closely with a VC firm’s partners or its chief financial officer (who sometimes handles investor relations if a full-time employee is not on staff). Making a good impression could translate into a job offer down the road—or at least some good experience to put on your resume.
Some people find jobs via traditional job-search strategies such as employment sites, recruiters, networking on LinkedIn and other social media sites, and using the resources of their university’s career services office. Many professional associations provide job listings, networking groups, and articles on finding a job at their Web sites.
An investor relations associate at a large venture capital firm with a clearly defined career ladder can advance to the position of IR manager, and then IR director. Those with exceptional financial knowledge and experience could become partners at the firm. At smaller firms, there may be only one investor relations professional, and advancement is more difficult. Some IR professionals transition into jobs as public relations and marketing managers with corporations, or they work for government agencies and nonprofits. Others become financial controllers or chief financial officers.
Hone your skills by participating in internships and entry-level jobs at public relations and marketing firms that provide services to the venture capital industry.
Read articles about the venture capital companies that are in the news, to identify potential employers, including:
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: