Stories of our clients: Tomas Ondrejka from Kickresume

Kickresume is an example of a successful startup business created by Tomáš Ondrejka and Peter Ďuriš. This online tool for the creation of CVs has already helped more than 1,000,000 users get their dream job. It is the easy-to-remember name of Kickresume that has fostered the growth of this project. At the same time, it was the fear of the possible need to rebrand a successful business name that highlights the importance of brand protection efforts in the early stages of startup companies.

By

Jan Buza

Let’s start from the beginning. How did the idea of Kickresume come about?

We launched this project at the university. In the beginning, it certainly was not a purposeful idea that we were going to expand on a global scale. It never occurred to us that Kickresume would allow us to make our living one day. We just needed to do a CV for an internship and we couldn’t find any suitable tool, so we simply coded one ourselves. The first version was used by tens of thousands of people. After 2 or 3 years, we started to put more effort into this idea and we grew in a startup accelerator in Bratislava where we started working on it every day. In other words, it was just a Friday night project that performed quite well.

Was this your first business venture?

The very first was during the surge of discount portals, and we had one of those. So Kickresume was probably the second idea that we came up with together.

Have you used the Kickresume brand from the very beginning or have you worker your way up to it?

We approached a branding agency which came up with the name as we couldn’t agree on one.

How would you describe the benefits of the Kickresume platform to a layman who has dealt with a resume merely twice in his life?

First and foremost, various online tools tend to sell data entered by users when writing a CV. This practice is largely hidden from the eyes of the consumer, not being informed at all or this practice being merely mentioned in the small print in terms and conditions. User data is truly safe with us and we share it only after receiving an express consent of the user - “I want to find a job, send my CV to the employer”. However, the user must turn this option on in a proactive manner.

This is probably the most significant advantage but there are also other benefits associated with Kickresume. We strive to guide our users through the entire process of writing a resume. We also have customised templates. It took about half a year to produce all the templates and some of the best typographers and designers from Slovakia were involved in this process. As a result, the templates can be easily ready by the employers and also by the automated programs which increases the chances of being hired.

Moreover, our tool also lets the users develop a cover letter and a web page, so everything is in one place.

Have you considered the possibility of protecting the Kickresume brand from the very start?

In retrospect, I think this was quite a serious mistake on our part as we did not pay any attention to it at the start. Awareness about intellectual property protection is very low in Slovakia and we did not take any actions towards protecting this key asset in the form of our brand. Fortunately for us, no one posed a threat for us or endangered our reputation in any way. We were really very lucky in this. If someone registered our trade mark, it would be quite a problem to rebrand the whole business. It is the easy-to-remember name of Kickresume that allows people to remember it and hence, we receive a lot of traffic from people merely typing in the name into a search engine. It would be great if people dealt with brand protection right from the start of their business. This should provide the foundations for avoiding possible complications in the future.

When, and why, did you decide to take this step to register your trademark?

I always knew something like that existed. I studied law so it was always somewhere back of my mind that we really should do it. As soon as our business truly took off, we registered our trademark. It was about 4 years after founding the business, once we started putting all our efforts into it.

In the hindsight, how would you rate your collaboration with team Trama?

The very first trademark we have had registered was done by a traditional law firm, but all consequent trademark registrations were handed over to Trama. Everything was great even with the initial law firm, but how could I put it, we are not all that formal. When you come to a law firm, there is something off putting about the place and you may easily find yourself having difficulties to discuss your needs. We were truly glad to come across Trama because we don’t have to deal with any of that now. Whenever we need something, we just pick up the phone and it’s very fast. I think this cooperation works very well.

As for your future business aspirations, are you planning to stay with Kickresume, or is there something else coming up?

We have a lot of work to do for the upcoming months, or even years. We are constantly adding new elements and building something new. But for the future, I am truly interested in the field of renewable energy. So even today, me and my co-founder of Kickresume are starting to direct our attention this way, thinking about smaller projects in the renewable energy sector.

Jan Buza

Jan Buza

Product Mind

Helped scale portfolio firms for a VC fund

CEMS Prague

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