The State Chapter of the National Career Development Association

GCDA Mini-Conference 2017

  • Friday, March 10, 2017
  • 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Oglethorpe University 4484 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30319


  • Complimentary registration for guest speakers (code required)
  • Renewed your lapsed membership or joined GCDA for the first time? Use your promo code sent to you to redeem this special rate.
  • Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students
  • Register at a discount rate to attend the conference and volunteer two hours of time helping introduce guests and setting up conference. Limit to five student volunteers.

Registration is closed

An all day professional development opportunity for career development professionals.

Sessions will include tips on having a successful private practice, how to help clients contend with issues in the workplace, best practices for using assessments with clients and more!


Friday, March 10, 2017


Check-In: 8 a.m.


Oglethorpe University


4.5 after attending all sessions


Before February 3:

Members: $130

Non-members: $145

Students: $50

After February 3:

Members: $145

Non-members: $170

Students: $50

Students: $55

Student Volunteer: $25 (Register at a discount rate to attend the conference and volunteer two hours of time helping introduce guests and setting up conference. Limit to five student volunteers.)

All prices include breakfast, lunch, parking, and CEUs

Travel Information

Parking and Directions:

Free parking will be available for all attendees. Upon arrival at 4484 Peachtree Rd, follow the GCDA signs to the designated parking lot. A map is included below for your convenience.


We welcome constituents from all across the region to the GCDA Mini Conference! The following hotels are a only short (5-10 minute) drive from the site of the conference:

Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Ne - I-85 Clairmont

Address: 2920 Clairmont Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329

The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North

Address: 7 Concourse Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30328

Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Perimeter Center

Address: 1501 Lake Hearn Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30319

Hampton Inn Atlanta-Perimeter Center

Address: 769 Hammond Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30328

About the Keynote

Top Trends Guiding Tech Use in Your Career Practice

Dr. Melissa A. Venable & Dr. Debra S. Osborn

Whether it’s purchasing a new smartphone, choosing online resources for a website, or creating a career-oriented podcast, technology decisions can be overwhelming. And the emergence of “new” and obsolescence of the “old” happen at what seems like an ever-quickening pace. In this session, the “Technology Twins” share their ideas about how digital tools and technology will influence career development activities in the coming years, and what you can do to make the most of them.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify current trends in the use of technology in a career counseling setting.
  • Discover the devices and applications driving the future of technology and career development.
  • Prepare to make office- and client-level decisions about the use of various technology-driven tools in a career practice.

Melissa A. Venable, PhD, is currently a full-time writer and online education advisor for Her professional background in career services, instructional design, and social media management informs her work on topics related to college decision making and career development. In addition to being a certified Career Coach, Melissa also serves on eLearn Magazine’s Editorial Board, and is an adjunct online instructor at the University of South Florida and Saint Leo University.

Deb Osborn is an Associate Professor in the Educational Psychology and Learning Systems department at Florida State University (FSU), and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She is a Fellow of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and American Counseling Association (ACA), Past President of the NCDA and Florida CDA, and currently serves on the NCDA/ACA boards as a governing representative. She received her PhD in Counseling and School Psychology from FSU in 1998. Her program of research includes: (a) the design/use of technology in counseling, (b) innovation and effectiveness in counselor education; and (c) the design/use of assessments in career services.

Schedule at a Glance

 Check-in/Breakfast/Introductions:  8:00AM-9:00AM
 Keynote: Dr. Deb Osborn & Dr. Melissa Venable 9:00AM-10:30AM
 Break/Networking:  10:30AM-10:45AM
 Breakout Session #1 (choose one)
  • Tonya Graham: Mind the Gap: Effectively Engaging Recruitment Technology in the Job Search Process
  • Andrea Holyfield: LinkedIn Best Practices for the New Professional
  • Robin Schlinger: How to Prepare an ATS-friendly Resume and avoid Pitfalls
 Lunch 11:45PM-12:45PM
 Breakout Session #2
  • Richard Knowdell: Effective, Quick and Inexpensive Tool to Identify Transferable Skills
  • Kendra Strickland: Reaching the SUMMIT: Developing a Mentoring Program for the 21st Century Student

 Break/Networking 1:45PM-2:00PM
 Breakout Session #3
  • Dr. Deb Osborn & Dr. Melissa Venable: Best Practices in Social Media

 Closing and Conference Adjourns 3:00PM

Program Details

Mind the Gap: Effectively Engaging Recruitment Technology in the Job Search Process

Tonya Graham

Today's recruiting climate requires candidates to be very savvy with navigating various technology platforms from submission to hire. This workshop provides insight into how these technologies are utilized from the view point of the recruitment professional and explains how recruitment professionals navigate the vast array of information captured. The vastness of candidate information provides a unique challenge for job seekers today and understanding how to effectively engage in these systems from the first point of contact is important. This workshop will also provide insight into how candidates can ensure that they provide all of the pertinent information in the most appropriate manner. Specific recommendations will be provided regarding: (1) the sections of the online application that the candidates can use to stand out from the crowd, (2) the importance of "self-identification" in the recruitment process, and (3) identifying the appropriate manner to communicate using technology (e.g. email, social media, Skype). The goal of this workshop is to provide perspective for coaches and counselors on how to best prepare their clients to engage in the recruitment process.

LinkedIn Best Practices for the New Professional

Andrea Holyfield

Everyone knows that LinkedIn is the world's leading online tool for professional branding and networking, and young adults are using social media in record numbers, yet many haven't bridged the gap to use social media for professional development and networking. This workshop will give practitioners the tools that they need to guide their students and clients through developing a high performing profile on LinkedIn and show them how to incorporate the tool into their overall job search plan.

How to Prepare an ATS Friendly Resume and Avoid Pitfalls

Robin Schlinger

In this presentation, you will gain solid understanding of how Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) work and what you must know to help your client pass the ATS and avoid ATS pitfalls. Once you understand how ATS work, you will learn how to select and read job announcements and job descriptions to find needed keywords and phrases. The presenter will show you a powerful method to obtain needed information from clients to address the keywords and phrases to use in ATS-friendly resumes.

The presenter will show you how to write powerful statements which showcase your clients’ accomplishments while including the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for them to get high ATS scores. The presenter will then introduce a template which works for both humans and most ATS.

Effective, Quick and Inexpensive Tool to Identify Transferable Skills

Richard Knowdell

In this fast-paced session, the presenter will administer a card sort skill assessment tool and walk the participants through a short interpretation session that promises to be quick, easy and non-threatening. Each participant will receive a complimentary assessment tool that they can use over and over with their own clients.

Participants will leave the session understanding:

  • how to identify which skills should be included on a resume
  • how to identify which skills should be excluded from the resume
  • the difference between “Motivated” skills and “Burn-out” skills
  • how to identify a client’s most salable skills in less than 30-minutes
  • how to convince clients which skills to promote on the resume
Reaching the SUMMIT: Developing a Mentoring Program for the 21st Century Student

Kendra Strickland

SUMMIT reinvents a liberal arts education for the 21st century by guiding students to embark on individualized co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and an understanding of complex global dynamics. One of the signature components of SUMMIT is to provide every Agnes Scott College student with a personal Board of Advisors to offer professional expertise on careers, guidance on professional skills, and leadership development opportunities. The Agnes Scott College Career Mentor Program provides a flexible balance between the unique career development needs of current students and the expectations and knowledge of alumnae of earlier generations. We will discuss differing generational mentoring perspectives, the vision of SUMMIT, and the development and launch of the SUMMIT Career Connect.

Speaker Bios

Tonya Graham is a Coach with Ultra HR Solutions. She is passionate about personally assisting others with navigating

transitions while maximizing their potential and following their specific path. Tonya provides expertise in all aspects of career transitions and works with entry level to mid-level clients in individual and group settings, virtually or in-person.

Tonya's professional experience includes human resources roles in recruiting, compensation, benefit claims administration, and HR project management at global companies within the pharmaceutical, energy, and insurance industries. Through these various HR roles, she had the opportunity to present to various levels (including executive level) of leadership, recruitment conferences, and HR related events.

She has participated in coaching training with The CAPP Institue and The Coaching Space. She also maintains the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) with the HR Certification Institutes (HRCI) and the society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) respectively.

Tonya earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Spelman College and her Masters of Human Resource

Management degree from Purdue University.

Andrea Holyfield is the owner and lead therapist at Live Well Coaching and Development Services where she focuses on three primary populations: career exploration and job search clients, creative female entrepreneurs and individuals in professional transition. Andrea's background is diverse and covers career coaching in higher education, private practice and corporate outplacement.

Andrea holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Kent State University and a master's degree in professional counseling as well as an advanced certificate in Women's Studies from Georgia State University. In addition to one on one coaching, Andrea partners with Georgia State University to deliver workshops and programming and Lee Hecht Harrison, a national career development and outplacement firm on social media and branding initiatives.

Andrea has presented at a host of other conferences including the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers and the American Counseling Association.

Robin Schlinger has been coaching clients and adding value to Federal and Civilian resumes since 2001. In 2006, she started her own company, Robin’s Resumes®.

Robin regularly speaks at conferences and for national-level audiences. She has delivered her motivational presentation on “How to Prepare to Create a Great Resume” more than 50 times for Women For Hire, Career Ministries, professional conferences, colleges, companies, and professional business organizations. In 2013, Robin spoke about resumes for the Fox News Career Channel.

Robin spoke on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) resumes for the National Resume Writing Association (NRWA) Conference, Career Directors International (CDI) Conference, Careerealism, National Career Summit, CEUOneStop, and other organizations. Her work and research on ATS was published in "101 Great Ways to Compete in Today's Job Market" and in the "Career Planning and Adult Development Journal." "US News and World Report" covered her work on ATS in a feature article. The most recent edition of "Resumes for Dummies," published in 2015, includes a chapter on Robin's ATS information.

In addition, Robin has made Federal resume presentations for the GCDA Conference in 2016, the final Career Management Alliance (CMA) conference, and Georgia Tech national symposium. As CDI Director of Awards for 7 years, she oversaw the annual Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) awards.

Prior to becoming a resume writer and career coach, Robin earned a BSChE from MIT and had a successful career contributing millions to company bottom lines as a Process, Research, and Quality Engineer and Planning Analyst for Fortune 500 companies.

Dick Knowdell, MS, NCC, NCCC, CDFI, CMF, NCDA Fellow, is the author of six books, including Building a Career Development Program: Nine Steps for Successful Implementation, From Downsizing to Recovery: Strategic Options for Individuals and Organizations and Pesonal Counseling. He has developed four career assessment instruments that have been translated into ten languages and are used by career development professionals throught the world. In 1995, President Clinton appointed him to the Board of Examiners for the United States Foreign Service. Dick is a past president of the California Career Development Association and in 2015 received their Life Time Achievment award. He has trainerd and certified over 7,000 Job and Career Transition Coaches in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. He is a frequent speaker at state, national and international career conferences.

Kendra Strickland coordinates professional development initiatives and events designed to increase the engagement of alumnae and non-alumnae in the career development of current Agnes Scott students. A passion for professional development has led to almost a decade of experience motivating and coaching students, athletes, and young alumni in preparation for the ever-evolving global marketplace. With experiences gained from large public research institutions as well as small private liberal arts colleges, Kendra has a diverse professional development programming background. Kendra holds a BS from Missouri Science and Technology University, an MS in Sports Management/Higher Education from Missouri State University and is currently pursuing her EdD in Organizational Leadership/Higher Education from Grand Canyon University.

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