More than 40 Veterans attended the Google and CWT Veterans’ Employment Readiness Fair on June 20 at the VA Menlo Park campus. This unique event brought a large team of recruiters from Google to share their knowledge and train Veterans on critical job seeking skills.
The event was coordinated by the Compensated Work Therapy Program, bringing in 32 Google recruiters participating in the annual Google Serve volunteer program where Googlers spend the month of June taking part in various volunteer opportunities in their communities.
Veterans sat down with recruiters and received one-on-one guidance on an array of job search skills, from using online job boards and LinkedIn to resume writing and interview skills. They also got the chance to meet with representatives from Cushman Wakefield and Bon Appetit, contractors for Google who were able to share insight into their hiring processes.
“Google Serve has given me the opportunity to work with diverse groups of people with noble missions over the years,” said Tamar Woodbury, the Google lead recruiter who helped to organize the event. This year’s event also happened be a family affair as she was given the unique opportunity to work with her mother Dr. Hedva Porat, CWT’s Development and Community Relations Coordinator.
“It’s really rewarding and humbling,” said Tamar Woodbury, Google’s lead recruiter who helped worked with CWT to organize the event. “It feels great that we can use our skills and knowledge to help somebody else.”
This year’s event also happened be a family affair as she was given the unique opportunity to work with her mother Dr. Hedva Porat, CWT’s Development and Community Relations Coordinator.
Allen Wright, a Veteran who participates CWT’s Transitional Work Program, said the event provided him a great opportunity to learn how to highlight his skills in a resume, or as he calls it, “to get to the meat on the bone.”
“She showed me how to highlight my strengths from previous experiences and how to translate my skills. She gave me some ideas on how to sell myself,” said Wright about the recruiter he worked with.
The event started with lunch and an opportunity for Veterans and Googlers to network while staff from CWT presented the program and its mission.
To better illustrate the importance of CWT’s work, Veterans Abraham Hart and Thomas Gonzales each told their story, expressing how their investment in the program has enriched their lives while bringing a sense of dignity and self-worth as they strive toward their personal goals.
Googler Karen Novaes, who was in town from Sao Paulo for a one-week company training described the event as a rare and moving experience.
“It was a great opportunity to talk with people who don’t work in tech,” she said. “These are not people we are around every day at Google. People on my team are very open so it’s great to share this opportunity to talk.”
Another veteran who attended the event, Michelle Scoggins, said that the recruiters were very helpful in providing insightful critiques of her resume.
“It was balanced enough to give tips for people with experience who had been out of work for a while, as well as those with less experience,” she said.
Woodbury agreed that the event felt like a success, adding that it leaves the door open for potential future collaboration between Google and VA.
“A lot of people said they would like to see this become a yearly event,” she said.
Find out more about the CWT Program on our website.