New image makers for job-seeking youngsters

Young people entering the job market for the first time and who find the whole process daunting are increasingly seeking the services of the private vocational firms that have entered the local job market. These firms help to prepare job candidates in matters such as how to dress for a job interview, the appropriate behavior during the interview itself, what to watch out for in job offers and even how to negotiate a better wage. These kinds of services are relatively new in Greece and are a reflection of the insecurity and anxiety young people feel when faced with the often frightening process of finding a job. A sign of the times or just a passing fashion, it is nevertheless a sign of the harsh reality that employers are seeking more and more and offering less and less. «Young people are clearly disillusioned by the decreasing number of jobs on offer and the current difficult working conditions. They have earned their degrees, they have the training, but they also realize that these things generally don’t count. They also know that there are very few good jobs, that is, ones that will pay them what they are worth,» said Dimitra Karatolou, the director of HR Passport Career Services. Karatolou undertakes to advise and train – and sometimes encourage – job candidates to increase their chances in the hunt for that much-wanted position. «We try to act in an advisory capacity on an individual basis, emphasizing each candidate’s strong points according to his or her special abilities, on the basis of a lengthy interview. We do aptitude tests, personal interviews, role play, telephone interviews. We give them instructions on how to draft a proper curriculum vitae and warn them of the potential pitfalls that could occur in the process. That is why we film the interviews, with myself as the interviewer, putting to them the questions they are likely to be asked by a personnel director. «Afterward we watch the interview together and point out the mistakes that might have been made so that they won’t be repeated in the real situation.»