IAVA Teams Up with Google for Job Skills Workshops
Posted by Joseph Bitet on June 17
As unemployment rates for new veterans continue to soar, it’s become something of an epidemic. In May, the number of unemployed veterans rose from 10.9% to 12.1%, approximately 2% above the national average. As they jump into the civilian job market, it is crucial for veterans to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to them so they can fight this unconventional enemy.
On June 13, Google hosted a group of veterans from IAVA at Google New York as part of GoogleServe, the annual service initiative where Google employees around the world give back to their local communities. This year, they're focused on helping new veterans develop the necessary tools to market themselves for careers in corporate America. Through work with corporate partners like Google, IAVA aims to ease vets transition out of the military and into civilian life by providing them with access to critical resources, products and training.
“We enjoyed teaching veterans how to translate their military background into corporate professional language. They each left with a resume worthy of their experience,” said Carrie Laureno, founder of the Google Veterans Network. "Having the chance to give back in such a tangible and meaningful way was incredibly rewarding for our team."
The event began in the morning, allowing the veterans time to meet one another and the Google sponsors who would be mentoring them throughout the day. Shortly after, the vets were given a quick period of instruction on resume writing and paired up with Googler’s (a term Google employees use to refer to themselves). After an hour of discussing experience and resume writing, vets were paired with a different Googler.
The vets in attendance got top-notch guidance, which they were excited to receive.
“It was great to get feedback from someone outside of the military,” said Ryan Stack, an IAVA member in attendance. “Sometimes I wrote things on my resume that made sense to me, but wouldn’t make sense to the civilian employers. I think that veterans should take advantage of the opportunity provided to them by IAVA and Google.”
The Googlers who donated their time to mentor the veterans also walked away from the event feeling it was a positive experience.
“It was great to help the veterans,” said Claudia Frank, an associate product marketing manager, who helped the veterans build their resumes. “We also got a better understanding of how the military works.
When it was time for lunch, the participants were taken to one of the Google cafeterias for a complimentary lunch. Lunch was followed up by a tour of the Google Campus, which was impressive to say the least. After lunch, the veterans and Googlers completed their resumes, and were introduced to Google Resume Builder.
When all was said and done, the event was a big success. The veterans all left with a feeling of accomplishment, a belly full enough to warrant a loosening of the belt, and hopeful of things to come with their newly formulated resumes.
“We hope today’s events were the start of future programs and plans that will let this community know that we are a military and veteran friendly brand,” said Laureno.
On a personal note, although IAVA and Google are providing us with ways to combat unemployment, I believe it is our responsibility as veterans to step up to the plate, fight unemployment, and not let ourselves become a statistic. For more information on planned future events, check out The Rucksack. Or you can just Google it!
Joseph Bitet was a Communications Intern at IAVA during summer 2011 in New York City. He served eight years with the Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq twice in 2003 and 2004-2005. He joined the Army Reserve in 2008 to return to Iraq as a Military Historian. In January 2012, it was with unspeakable sadness that IAVA learned Joe had passed away while on vacation with his family. Read more about Joe's life and legacy, and how you can make a donation in his honor here.
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