The social job hunt: Web startup brings resumes to life for college students in tough economy

Aug 07, 2012 by Nicole Casal Moore

(Phys.org) -- A new career-focused social networking site is believed to be the first-of-its-kind platform for college students and recent grads to showcase their work and connect directly with hiring companies.

Seelio, from "see" and "portfolio," was co-founded by a University of Michigan entrepreneurship instructor, and its public beta opens today. Portfolios are available to anyone with an edu email address, not just at U-M. Companies can also create accounts to recruit students.

The site's developers say it fills a gap in the landscape of online portfolio and career-focused networking sites, especially for the entry-level demographic. Seelio is the only known site to meld dynamic online work portfolios with a network of other job seekers and recruiters. The site mashes the professionalism of LinkedIn with the interactivity potential of and the attractive display of Pinterest to create a dedicated space to celebrate work.

In addition to traditional resume information, users can post the fruits of their labor, such as , computer-aided designs, art projects, lesson plans, or photos or video of themselves doing the work or hobby they love. Employers can create similar pages to convey their company culture and post . Both can follow one another and interact. can apply with one click.

"Instead of sending a stale, black-and-white resume, Seelio lets you bring yourself to life and present yourself in a more holistic way," said co-founder Moses Lee, assistant director for student ventures at the U-M College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship. "It can help get discovered. This is really important, especially in this tough economy, because they don't have a lot of job experience. But many have done amazing work as a student."

Lee and co-founders David Jsa and Jerry Wang, who are U-M alums, soft-launched the platform's truApp in January 2012 exclusively to U-M students. Within six months, it amassed 1,500 students and 150 organizations including Quicken Loans, Teach for America, Compuware, Under Armour and Airtime. The site placed more than 40 students and recent grads in internships or full-time positions.

One of them is Lydia Muwanga, who got a master's degree from the School of Information in April. She used truApp to land her "dream job" as an information architect at SapientNitro, a global marketing and technology firm.

"The first thing that stood out to us about her was her mosaic-style profile photo and the fact that she wrote about being an artist," said Kati Llewellyn, creative recruiter with SapientNitro.

A quick scan of Muwanga's profile page reveals that she spent time in Italy learning to draw and her personal goal is to "make the world better." Her highlighted works include a Post-It note mural inspired by the Fibonacci sequence and a prototype redesign of an online scheduling system.

Llewellyn appreciates that the platform lets her explore candidates "from a 360-perspective."

"It helps us more accurately target candidates, allowing us to differentiate between, say, human-computer interface students who love research, versus those who love wireframing," she said.

Muwanga said the site is a revolutionary change in the job hunting process. Once she got her profile up, she applied for five jobs in 10 minutes. Within 24 hours, she had heard back from three employers.

"It's like inviting recruiters into my living room, sitting down with them, and showing them the story behind my work that led to the final product," Muwanga said. "Because employers are already members of the site, it cut out a lot of work for me. Submitting the application with just one click was icing on the cake."

The site has tremendous potential, says Chris Bogdan, a cellular and molecular biology junior whose profile starts: "I study science because I think it's awesome."

"I think it will take over over time because it is a more user-friendly platform that really gives users a chance to express themselves," Bogdan said.

Lee graduated with a master's degree from the business school in 2003. Jsa and Wang are civil engineering master's graduates from 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Explore further: Misinformation diffusing online

More information: seelio.com/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Entry-Level Workers Head into a Mixed Market

Apr 03, 2007

A new report sheds light on a tight entry-level market with little hope for improved wages for recent college graduates, almost half of whom expect to move back in with their parents to make ends meet.

What employers look for of those re-entering the workforce

Sep 23, 2011

Finding a job in today's economy is difficult in the best of circumstances, but many women are facing an even bigger challenge: returning to the workforce after a long absence. Researchers recently looked at the characteristics ...

Interactive Web sites draw minds, shape public perception

May 25, 2008

The interactive look and feel of a corporate website could help shape positive perceptions about the organization if the site includes a likeable design and features that engage the target audience, especially job seekers, ...

Recommended for you

US warns retailers on data-stealing malware

13 hours ago

US government cybersecurity watchdogs warned retailers Thursday about malware being circulated that allows hackers to get into computer networks and steal customer data.

Irish bookmaker apologizes for 2010 data breach

14 hours ago

(AP)—Irish betting company Paddy Power announced Thursday it is notifying hundreds of thousands of customers that most of their profile information was stolen in 2010, but hackers did not gain their credit card details ...

User comments : 0