Looking to rethink the resume, a startup called Seelio is opening its doors today to anyone with a .edu email address. The company, which spun out of an existing service called TruApp, wants to offer college students a better way to showcase their work via online portfolios which employers and recruiters alike can browse through and search by keyword. Upon finding a potential candidate, employers can then use Seelio to communicate directly with the student in question.
TruApp got its start at the University of Michigan, and currently has around 1,600 students and 170 companies on the platform as it relaunches and expands under its new name “Seelio.”
Founded by University of Michigan grads Moses Lee, David Jsa, and Jerry Wang, TruApp launched its MVP (minimum viable product) back in January 2012. “We thought that there was a real opportunity to disrupt the resume, particularly for college students,” explains Lee. “We decided to see what would happen around a platform that could really empower college students to showcase their true personalities, their skill sets, and their accomplishments to employers.”
“Portfolio platforms have traditionally been for designers,” he adds. “We’re building a portfolio platform for the everyday college student. Anyone can use it because, more than ever before, every type of student is creating digital material that they can use to enhance their job prospects.”
On students’ profile pages, they can showcase the work they’ve done throughout college, and even list other students as project collaborators.
But unlike some other online portfolios sites, what makes Seelio different is that it also includes a network that connects employers with the students directly – like a job search site for emerging talent. Given the hiring crunch in the tech industry specifically, Seelio could help employers find young grads to fill open positions – something that’s hard to do on traditional job search sites which emphasize real-world work experience.
Lee says that Teach For America, Compuware, Quicken Loans and Airtime have already used the platform to search for and evaluate talent. Like students, whose “high def” resumes (as Lee calls them) can include both text and multimedia content, companies who sign up to create a profile on the platform can also create more dynamic experiences to attract talent. “Companies can use media to create culture,” Lee says. “What we’re finding is that college students, when they’re thinking about employment, they’re not just engaged about what you do, they want to know who they’re going to work with. Companies can post pictures, videos, anything that they can to really market to this generation in a whole new way, not just a boring job description.”
With the relaunch, Seelio now allows companies to create profiles that provide support for multiple recruiters, where before, as TruApp, it only allowed one account per organization. Both the students’ and company profiles are free, but there’s a charge for companies who want to post jobs or message students. Companies pay $50/month for the messaging capabilities, and $150 to post a job. Featured jobs, which sit up high among the search results, will go for $300-$1,200, depending on season. (Employers that signup in the next seven days will receive a free job post once the jobs board is available. Use the code “techcrunch” at checkout).
Seelio has raised a small amount of seed funding from Michigan-area angels, and now wants to raise again to help it expand across the U.S.
Correction 8/6/12: Initial version of the story referred to Quicken Loans as being from Intuit. Quickbooks is from Intuit, which does not use this service. Apologies for the error.