A Recruiter’s Journey to Startup in Amsterdam

#LessonLearned #GiveFeedbackToLife

I want to give you some feedback Life, you badass with a sweetheart! Be ready because this is TL;DR :)

My almost ‘full-star’ linked profile was written well,
⁃ I had a professional photo with an outstanding headline

⁃ I wrote a nice personalised summary in first person

⁃ I thought about job titles, clear job descriptions & my diverse skillset to help the viewer imagine where I might fit in

⁃ Added some links and documents to support my experiences

⁃ Got recommendations from my candidates and colleagues

⁃ I added my educational background, made sure I had no time gaps and/or red flags

Clearly, I filled out as much of the profile as possible, with the right mixture of keywords to be found. And there it was …. around June 2015, I was approached on LinkedIn with a ‘Tech Recruitment’ job by several companies from the UK and Dublin.

Me, a 162cm ‘tall’ girl playing basketball, who had never lived further than from my home, Bratislava, was contacted to work abroad! There, in the big wild west! Yes Life, you really surprised me when you challenged me, you made me curious & excited, you gave me confidence and because you taught me to be a competitive person: ‘Challenge accepted!’

Well I didn’t accept the ‘London’ opportunity. London is too big a city for a small girl like me as a first ‘abroad’ experience. But instead, I decided to go to Amsterdam. Not that big, but still a capital city, metropolitan, modern, beautiful and international — simply an ideal place for an expat. I opened LinkedIn and started searching for jobs. I was reading and reading and reading a lot of job listing, when suddenly….

Are you an agency recruiter? (“yes I am”), fed up with cold calling at a recruiting firm or bored of working for large corporates? (“yes I am”)? Do you love to find hidden talent in the online realms? (“yes I do”)? Do you love both people and puzzles? (“yes,I really love both”) Join us, and help deliver hyper growth to Amsterdam’s tech & online startups (“yes I want and I will”)!’ and here we go, I decided to apply! But I knew that I had one really big disadvantage, I was still living in Slovakia, which meant:

- people might expect that I needed a Visa, because they often think Slovakia is part of Russia, or similar to it.

⁃ people have different culture stereotypes, maybe even prejudices about Eastern Europe

⁃ people are afraid that I might not be really serious about relocating and might drop out from the process

I decided to break these disadvantages and show that they should hire me, so I was assuming: the typical cover letter is not enough! Here’s why:

⁃ ‘Sloppy’ recruiters will not read it

⁃ Recruiters will not really get my enthusiasm and my motivation

⁃ Recruiters will not care at all …

I really wanted to show this company ‘LevelUp Ventures’ that I am different as they are! I came up with an idea how to show them my personality and motivation. That same day, I opened my old HP notebook from like 7 years ago with a really old (not even HD) camera and started recording. I finished it, pasted it to my CV and sent it to them.

Well… as you could see, it’s not HD quality and not even the sound is alright. I mean what do you expect from my old PC? And yes, I used a curtain for my background…. But its cool! I am proud (and a bit embarrassed too), but I put all my effort in there and guess what …

Aik Deveneijn, the CEO of LevelUp Ventures, loved the amateur video, loved the curtain and he loved my effort and you know what else? He hired me on ‘XMAS EVE’!

Well… let me tell you Life, whom I’ve become from that moment when I started to work for LevelUp Ventures !

Eva, a Slovak girl with a passion for tech recruiting awesome talent for the top 10% of funded startups here in Amsterdam.

I’ve met great people, who are amazing, energetic, creative, gorgeous & smart! I’ve met great candidates, many of them I can even call friends now. All of those people and companies taught me a lot! I’ve never learned that fast and that much before.

At LevelUp Ventures I’ve been a 21st century recruiter, and that means no cold calling or spamming (it’s useless!), I’ve been myself, quite the nerd, with a genuine passion for tech & boolean and a new era of recruiting: networking, social selling & branding, internet & digital marketing and growth hacking. At LevelUp Ventures I could do it all and more! I felt comfortable, acknowledged, autonomous and always charged by our mission to ‘enable growth’.

Thank you LevelUp Ventures you’ve taught me a lot, and a special thanks to my lovely colleagues:

@ aikdeveneijns “glorious leader” how to inspire others with their vision and use inventive ways of reaching goals

@ tomvrenken “ginger hustler” how to be honest, work persistently and easily lift people’s spirits

@ omario “mr. coolio” how to rise above it and not get stressed, stay calm and supportive.

@ ryan “grey” gruss how to use marketing, be creative and use efficiently the network.

@ jeremy ”the machine” how to finish a project and target the goal over the people emotions

@andrei how to be enthusiastic over & over and don’t give up

@ becky “Cali girl” how to constantly work to improve the company’s employer brand and company culture.

@ elise “sunshine” how to be a responsive, concerned, always helpful and caring person

@ alina “bulina” how to have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve, how to help to cooperate or to support

Now it’s time to move forward! Life, you again surprised me and challenged me and so ‘again a new challenge accepted!’ Here I start my new adventure as the first in-house recruiter @Impraise and let’s see what this challenge will bring me, let’s build an amazing team!

I will be back soon!

PS: Check LevelUp Ventures out here, they’re pretty cool and hiring!




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Eva Balúchová

Eva Balúchová

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