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Working in Greece - Advice & Tips

Greece

Greece is best known as a sunny tourist location; however the country offers other possibilities too. However, if you want to work in Greece, be prepared to learn Greek and climb the career ladder from scratch.

Job hunting in Greece

The Greek public employment service, Organismos Apasholisseos Ergatikou Dynamikou (OAED), has the monopoly on placement in Greece. It is therefore advisable to register with the OAED upon arrival in Greece. However, the most important route to a job in Greece is personal contacts. Therefore, in a country such as Greece it is important to ‘network’ and you will discover that in no time you will have become part of the Greeks ‘network of recommendations’.

The Application Letter

Greek application rules are not very strict. The letter should be short, in a formal and polite style. The letter is usually typed, and is accompanied by a CV. Many Greek companies use application forms to replace the CV. Those forms are long and detailed, and often copies of diplomas, up to three references (which will be checked in the final stage of your application), a health certificate and a certificate of absence of a criminal record (which can be obtained by the police of your country) are requested too.

The Curriculum Vitae

There are no strict rules for CVs in Greece. Usually the CV is three to five pages long. A photograph is not required, however it is appreciated. CVs are typed and are extremely detailed and normally in chronological order. At the end of the CV you have to sign. Practical experience is considered of great importance. Mention all practical experience you have obtained, including apprenticeships, university projects and courses. Leisure activities are optional, but much appreciated if you mention them. Put down everything in your CV that (you think) makes you an interesting candidate for an employer. Remember that a lot of paper looks impressive in the eyes of a Greek recruiter!

The Application Procedure

Interviewing is the prime selection method. Usually three to six interviews are common. The main criteria for Greek recruiters are a candidate’s general level of education and his/her communication capabilities. Be prepared for a greater degree of inquisitiveness about your personal circumstances than common in many other countries. But of course, you are not obliged to answer detailed questions on your personal situation.

About the author

Looking for work in GreeceNannette Ripmeester is the expatriate affairs consultant to several multinational companies, which she advises regarding the strategy of international assignments and the practical implementation around expat issues.  Ripmeester started her international career at the European Commission, has worked on a project basis in 17 countries and is founder and Managing Director of Expertise in Labour Mobility (www.labourmobility.com).
She is co-author of a series of country-specific guides, the guide "Looking for work in Greece", (ISBN-13: 978-90-5896-068-9) is part of that series of guides. To order this guide or other guides that will help you to secure the international job you want, visit our website: www.labourmobility.com.  As a reader of Eurograduate we offer you a 10% discount if you are your copy here.