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The MCDA Wellspring March 2017

The MCDA Board would like to acknowledge those who recently completed the Global Career Development Facilitator [GCDF] certification: 

Gina Adams 
Jennifer Allnutt 
Cassandra Baker 
Kellie Bass 
Jackie Bauer 
YoVanda Brown 
Fred Demers .
Clara Henry
Janessa Jones
Beth Lee
Micha Little
Pamela McHugh
Jackie Milad
Patricia Mize
Danielle Reed-Gypins
Lizette Rodriguez
Sean Santmyire
Ayesha Shabazz
Jennifer Spencer Heilman
Meredith Tseu 

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunity 
What: One of the most sought-after credentials, the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certification provides a comprehensive foundation and set of skills so you can help virtually any job seeker land the job they want.
Both workforce/career development newbies and "seasoned veterans" tell us what a great and practical course this is!

Who: Workforce Excellence Group, LLC 

When: April 5-6, 2017

Where: Randallstown, Maryland 

How: GCDF Details and Registration 

Register by March 8th and save $100!

Registration Deadline: March 28th 
Feature Article
The theme of the March edition of the MCDA Wellspring Newsletter is resourcefulness, and what a better resource to highlight than LinkedIn? I know I encourage my students to take care of and maximize their professional online profiles, but it is also important that we, as career professionals, keep a polished LinkedIn profile. In the piece below, Paula Brand, MCDA member and LinkedIn extraordinaire, shares tips on improving our LinkedIn profiles in 5 minutes. Let's practice what we preach! 
Krasi Shapkarova, MCDA Newsletter Editor 
LinkedIn: How to Improve Your Profile in 5 Minutes
By Paula Brand, GCDF | CPRW | JCTC


It is a fast and easy way to customize your social media presence with LinkedIn. Personalizing your LinkedIn URL is similar to the idea of getting a vanity license plate; it makes your name and brand much more memorable. Aren’t you more likely to notice and remember driving by a car with the plate “DAY-DRMR” or “IMGR8” versus a randomly assigned plate like J3R9S6?  


Two big reasons: clarity and branding. First, LinkedIn assigns everyone a messy URL initially, which is why you should change it. Additionally, a Vanity URL helps in your branding and marketing efforts, shows you are somewhat savvy in using LinkedIn and improves your SEO rankings on Google and LinkedIn. Once it’s in place, share your customized URL so people can easily find you. Place it on your résumé, business cards, and electronic signatures. This is important for people concerned with managing their careers effectively no matter what their current status is: employed, unemployed or underemployed. 


Once logged into your LinkedIn account, click on the Profile section located to the left of the page. Then slide your curser to the drop down choice of Edit Profile. Next, click on the gear icon, just to the right of your currently assigned URL (see picture below). After clicking on that icon, you should see somewhere in the upper right-hand side of your screen the words Enhance your personal brand by creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn public profile. In that area, click on the blue pencil icon next to your current URL. Then, pop up box will appear with the URL started as, plus a blank box at the end that will allow you to type in the customized URL you would like. Please note that LinkedIn often changes things up and various people can see different views, so I can’t promise that these will be/look exactly the same when you try this. 

Start by typing in your full name and see if it’s available (no spaces are allowed and it will all show in lowercase no matter how you type it). The system will let you know if it’s not available; otherwise you can assume it is and click on Save. Keep trying until you get one you like that is available. If your name is taken, look to add other letters that have meaning for you or your profession. So, if the extension of joesmith is taken and he is in the field of sales, he could try joesmithsalesexpert. You could also include a middle name, middle initial or a maiden name.

Like everyone else, when I first got on LinkedIn, I was assigned an unmemorable URL. Now you’ll see that my Public Profile (URL) on LinkedIn ends in paulabrandcareers. When I initially attempted to obtain a vanity URL, I typed in my name and “paulabrand” was taken, so I added the four letters of one of my certifications related to résumés. Later on I changed it to a keyword related to my brand and what I do for a living (because I am not a traditional résumé writer). You can change your URL as many times as you want, but try to find the right one sooner than later and stick with it to help in your branding efforts. If you customize it multiple times, the old one(s) won’t work (and will go up for grabs for someone else to take), but your originally assigned URL should always work.


Now you know how to do it, so make use of this feature! It really is easy and takes only a few minutes. Of course, you need to invest more time than this one effort, but this is a good start.  Please share this tip with people you know.

As an experienced Career Counselor & Coach, my mission is to inspire you to manage your career by embracing LinkedIn! Reach your career goals faster by letting me show you how to use LinkedIn more effectively. By staying on top of the constant changes, I can save you time and make this process much easier. 

Phone: 443-254-8173
Upcoming Events
That's Not What I Meant!
Combating Microaggressions
in Counseling
WhenMarch 17, 2017 | 12:00PM-2:00PM

Where: Loyola University Graduate School, Timonium Campus | 2034 Greenspring Dr., Timonium, MD 21093 | Room 66

How: Register now by visiting the Event Registration page

Cost: Member - $60 | Non-member - $70 | Student/Retired Member - $50 

What: Perhaps you have taken "multicultural competency" in graduate school or professional development trainings. You've read the articles in "Counseling Today" on the dangers of stereotypes. You would never let bias affect your career counseling decisions or mental health treatment plans, right? Wrong! As individuals with unique cultural backgrounds, we all fall prey to the effects of implicit bias. Particularly for clients with marginalized racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, gender, ability and national identities, counseling can be a minefield of microagressions. Fortunately, there's hope! 

This workshop will explore how unchecked assumptions affect outcomes in counseling sessions and what you as a counselor can do about it. We will engage with the best ways to identify, expose and reduce the negative effects of bias and share resources on improving client-counselor relationships. 

Participants will:

  1. Explore their own personal backgrounds and biases.
  2. Define and understand the connection between implicit bias and microagressions.
  3. Discuss methods to improve cultural awareness and minimize harm to clients.

BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH. Dessert and Drinks will be provided.

Who: Shira Concool, LCPC, NCC (she/her/hers) is a mental health counselor and career counselor working at Goucher College and Stevenson University, respectively. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University and Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies from Yale University. She completed her clinical externship in the Counseling Department of John Jay College in New York City where she worked primarily with students to address mental health concerns and issues of identity, power, privilege and oppression. 

At Goucher, she co-facilitates a Trans Therapy Group and serves as the Counseling Department representative on the Bias Education and Response Team. When not working with college students, you can find her on stage in local theatrical productions.

MCDA 2017 Annual Conference News
 "Bringing Joy into Career Development" 
Registration Now Open 

When: April 27 and 28, 2017
Where: Columbia, MD 
How: Register Online

Last year we had the most attendees ever. Will you join us this year? 

2017 Conference Schedule at a Glance 

If you are interested in Advertising Opportunities at the conference, please visit the Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus
Newsletter Contributions

"We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blogposts, emails, tweets, or text messages, you are a writer." 

Last Friday, February 24th, I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a workshop and talk about one of my favorite topics: writing. According to Katherine Brooks, a consultant with over 30 years of experience in career development, career professionals often succumb to vocational irony: they are “so busy helping others move forward in their careers that [they] neglect [their] own career.” One way to stay on track with your professional development is to write: for yourself through a personal or a professional blog or for others through guest blogging or newsletter submissions. And I'm more than thrilled to help you with the second! 

To honor the theme of MCDA's annual conference, the newsletter theme for April is the joy of work. Consider sharing your insights in a brief article.

For a great resource on writing, check out the Minimalists' 11 Ways to Write Better

In addition, career professionals love to celebrate each other. Have an accomplishment you are proud of? Let us know so that we can share with the rest of the MCDA community.

Krasi Shapkarova 

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