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REPOST: John Luther, UMich A&D Career Development Coordinator: What is a Portfolio?

Some of you know that while in alpha, what you now know as Seelio, was named truApp, and that we posted lots of blog entries on our truApp blog. Some of those entries seemed so important we figured we’d post them again. This is one of them. Enjoy! Find the original entry here.


John Luther, Career Development Coordinator for U of M Art & Design asks;

What is a Portfolio?

Find out his thoughts on the matter – and even check out his Seelio*, a showcase of his work to share with Art & Design students.


As someone who works in Art & Design I hear the word “portfolio” bandied about by non-creative people a great deal and realize that their definition of portfolio is quite different from mine.   So here is what my trusty online dictionary says about the word:

portfolio |pôrtˈfōlēˌō|

noun ( pl. -os)

a large, thin, flat case for loose sheets of paper such as drawings or maps.

• a set of pieces of creative work collected by someone to display their skills, esp. to a potential employer.

• a varied set of photographs of a model or actor intended to be shown to a potential employer.

a range of investments held by a person or organization : better returns on its investment portfolio.

• a range of products or services offered by an organization, esp. when considered as a business asset: an unrivaled portfolio of quality brands.

the position and duties of a minister of state or a member of a cabinet : he took on the Foreign Affairs portfolio.


relating to, denoting, or engaged in an employment pattern that involves a succession of short-term contracts and part-time work, rather than the more traditional model of a long-term single job : portfolio careers allow women to balance work with family.

ORIGIN early 18th cent.: from Italian portafogli, from portare ‘carry’ foglio ‘sheet of paper’ (from Latin folium).


So who really needs a portfolio?  You do.  Whether you are an animator, a painter, a business major or an engineer you need the ability to “show” what you can do, not just “tell” what you can do.  We live in a phenomenally visual age and we can share our ideas, skills, designs, etc. as fast as the click of a mouse.  Artists and Designers have a leg up because we have been using portfolios for as long as, well for at least as long as the early 18th Century according to the definition above.  Now you can create a portfolio to represent who you are, what you can do, what you can contribute, etc.


Having a web portfolio is essential to students in the School of Art & Design, but so are the means to have that portfolio seen by potential employers.  There are a LOT of sites out there that help in this regard, but Seelio* provides something more unique.  In addition to straightforwardly having your work seen by potential employers who recruit on the site, you can also share work with others in the hopes of collaboration.  In the 21st century, collaborative work is rapidly becoming the norm and effective platforms for sharing work are essential.

So, whether you are a creative person who is used to having and presenting a portfolio, or you consider yourself to be not so creative, Seelio is a way to share your work, collaborate, and hone how you wish to present yourself to others.


*formerly referred to as truApp in original post

#DisruptTheResume with Seelio

So you’re getting a B.A. in History, but what does that mean, really? How does an employer know what you bring to the table besides in-depth knowledge of the War of 1812? How can you show employers what you know? Say Hello to Seelio!

Seelio provides a platform for students to showcase projects that would otherwise be marginalized on a typical text-based resume. For example, on Seelio students have showcased projects such as an outreach campaign for a student organization, a marketing strategy for a business class, user experience research on an organizational website, and design experiments developed in their spare time. Seelio has the capability to accentuate an entirely new dimension to your education and experience.

Even more, Seelio enables students to showcase valuable, transferable (broadly applied) skills (e.g, communication, leadership and teamwork) gleaned from club membership or class work. These features enable recruiters to understand the value of your education. In summary, regardless of major or concentration, Seelio enables students to showcase their passions, dynamic capabilities and the work behind their accomplishments.

It’s time for students of all disciplines to distinguish themselves from the two-dimensional world of the traditional resume. It’s time to #DisruptTheResume and showcase yourself with Seelio!

The times they are a-changin’

Welcome to the super-crazed, super-connected digital age. Recruiting today isn’t like it used to be.

In the past, crafting a strong resume was key to being hired. But recent technology has changed the way things work around here. Now, resumes are read by automated software, and actually being noticed by the system is problematic for many applicants. Further, when a human actually picks up a resume, how can an applicant stand out from all the others in a colorless page or two?

According to an article in the Huffington Post by Diane Gayeski, Ph.D., Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, students must show employers that they possess skills characteristic of successful employees, such as “teamwork, critical thinking, reasoning, clear writing and speaking, and problem-solving. . . But how do new grads DEMONSTRATE those competencies, and how do they get a foot in the door in this competitive global environment?”

At Seelio, we’ve taken a cue from a recent trend. Applicants have found that multimedia tools — QR codes, videos, infographics — supplement their resumes nicely in conveying, “this is who I am, this is what I’ve done, and this is what I can do for you.” But why not kick the power of the resume-multimedia tools duo up a notch?

Seelio provides a space for college students to present their stories to employers — and their peers. By creating an online portfolio of works, students give others a sense of who they are, what they’re passionate about, and what they’re like to work with. As an additional benefit, students can bring their resumes to life by adding the link to their seelio on their resumes. So make a Seelio, show the world who you are, and win.