Provided by the NCDA Technology Committee, these technical tips are short lessons on some of the newest technology tools, trends, and apps, and how they can be used by career practitioners in a variety of contexts.

Shrink Your Links with a URL Shortener


If you have ever wanted to provide a URL (a.k.a. web link) in a handout or slide presentation, or even over the phone, you know that long links can be challenging to share. Free link shortening tools, such as TinyURL, Google's URL Shortener,  and Bitly  all allow you to copy/paste a longer link into a text box, and with one click create a much shorter version that you can then copy/paste into a document, email message, slide, or other format. Take a look at the following example using TinyURL: access this Google Drive folder


Some shortening tools include additional features, such as creating a custom link and tracking how many times your short link was clicked.


Tip Provided by Dr. Melissa A. Venable,

Colleagues often ask about my office workstation, which has two monitors: one rotated in portrait (vertical) orientation and a second in landscape (horizontal) orientation. While studies are mixed on the impact multiple monitors have on work productivity, I find my workstation supports a more natural, paper-like work style. The configuration allows easy side-by-side comparison of documents and screens (i.e. resume, job announcement, LinkedIn profile), and decreases scrolling. Most operating systems (e.g., Windows, OS) support multiple monitors if the computer has multiple video outputs or ports. Monitors that “pivot” from landscape to portrait can be purchased new and some preexisting monitors can be modified to fit an after-market stand that allows rotation. Read more about the benefits of multiple monitors and how to set them up.


Tip provided by: Darrin L. Carr, PhD HSPP,


Test Your Passwords with The Password Meter

From email accounts and virtual meeting systems to job search sites and online career assessments, good passwords are essential to keeping personal conversations and information private. The Password Meter  allows you to test your current passwords and develop better strategies. This online tool also shows you why a password choice is strong or weak, and rates it on a scale from "Failure" to "Exceptional." Mike Taylor shares additional ideas for creating memorable and secure passwords. Are your online accounts secure? It's important for career practitioners to have this conversation with their students and clients, and to practice it themselves.

Tip Provided by Dr. Melissa A. Venable,

Find Meeting Time Consensus with Doodle


How many emails did you have to send out the last time you needed to schedule a meeting? Finding time for a group to meet can be a challenge. Doodle is a free, online tool that helps identify the best day and time easily. Create an event in Doodle with suggested meeting days/times, then send the link to your attendees. Each participant selects his/her available times from the list you created. The result is a visual table highlighting the best time to meet. Doodle tallys the participant responses, sends you email updates, and allows you to set the time zone. The set-up process is quick and doesn't require account registration. provides step-by-step instructions and an example to get you started.

Tip Provided by Dr. Melissa A. Venable,


Job Application Kiosks


While applying for a job at an in-store computer kiosk may seem convenient, students and clients should know what to expect before they begin the process. Most organizations ask for general work history information, but skills and personality questionnaires are also often part of the formal application. Check company websites for tips that help applicants prepare their materials in advance. Publix for example, provides a Time Saver worksheet, noting that the kiosk application takes around 45 minutes to complete and needs to be updated every 30 days.


Tip Provided by Dr. Melissa A. Venable,


Create a Visual Image of Your Resume


Looking for a creative way to visualize skills and qualifications? You may have heard of this before, but it is worth repeating: Copy and paste a complete resume into a tool like WordItOut The resulting word cloud file emphasizes keywords in the document, and can be added to a website or social media profile. Word clouds also help job seekers see the words they are using most frequently to help them revise their resumes. With the WordItOut application you can even create an image for a T-shirt or mug. This would be a great gift idea for a college student or other job seeker who is applying for employment.


Tip Provided by Dr. Lynne Orr,

Remember Things with Evernote

Evernote allows you to easily capture notes and other information using whatever device you happen to have available at the time. It syncs your notes between devices. For example, capture something on your smartphone then access it from your tablet, laptop, or desktop. No WiFi access? You can begin working in Evernote while traveling, then sync when you have Internet capability. Once a new "note" is created, you can organize it in a "notebook" and add searchable tags. The Evernote tagline is: "Remember Everything," and they couldn't have said it better. It's a go-to workhorse for personal and professional tasks: create lists; clip web pages; capture images and links; create audio files; scan papers, book pages, receipts, and business cards, and attach documents and PDF files.


Tip Provided by Shirley Rowe,


Drag, Drop, and Create Your Own Website

Itching to create a website for your career center or private practice, but don’t want to pay a web designer and are too intimidated to DIY? An abundance of possibilities are available, including a site maker called Weebly If you can drag and drop icons with your mouse, you can create an attractive website. The free version offers you dozens of themes and the ability to easily add text, images, links, files, forms, blogs, and more. Grab the feature you want from the options and drag/drop it to where you want it to go. Add your content and away you go! For more information access the Beginners Guide for

Tip Provided by Dr. Janet Wall,


NCDA’s NEW Conference App

Get the most out of NCDA’s conference in Long Beach! Download the NCDA conference App on your Android or iPhone/iPad mobile device. You can find the App at the Google Play Store or the iOS store. To locate the App, just search for NCDA. When you first log in, you will be prompted to set up an account. You don't have to set up an account, but registering ensures you have full access to all of the App's features. The App will allow you to create a custom schedule, take notes at sessions, and to post your electronic business card. You can also sign up to receive notifications of room changes or other updates. The event is accessible to BlackBerry devices, Windows Phone users, and desktop computers through a web-based version:
Watch for additional use of the NCDA App at future events, such as Career Practitioner Institutes.


Tip Provided by Paul Timmins,

Sending Large Files for Free

Career development practitioners occasionally want to send large files via email, such as sharing conference presentation handouts with participants, editing documents with colleagues, and job search instructions to students.   Most email programs limit the size of the file that can be attached. Instead of emailing a large file, you can zip it (i.e., compress it) with a free program such as Zip Central. The person receiving a zip file needs to download Zip Central of a similar application to "unzip" and access the contents.

There are also free web-based tools, including File Dropper and Transfer Big Files . Register for an account and then upload your large files. Your recipients can download the files to their computers using the link provided.


Tip Provided by Dr. Janet Wall,