Why People Want to Work at Amazon... And How You Can Prepare

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Think Amazon is just an e-commerce delivery giant where the only jobs they have are engineering or warehouse logistics people? Think again!

Amazon is on track to employ nearly 1 million employees by the end of 2020. As of December 2019, Amazon employed 798,000 full-time and part-time employees around the world and has been hiring roughly 60K people per month. In the US, they employ over 500,000 people with roughly 60K working at their HQ in Seattle, 14K in NYC, 14K in SF, 10K in LA, 8K in DC, and 5K in Boston.

Amazon has generated more jobs than any other company in the US (more than Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft). They’re one of the most attractive employers for students and grads looking to build a career within the technology/digital industry.

But getting hired by Amazon for these coveted roles doesn’t come by with just luck. Fewer than 2% of applicants get hired at Amazon. If you’re wondering how to get a job at Amazon, the key is preparation. Know what you want to do, know which program you want to be a part of, know Amazon’s 14 leadership principles, and know what Amazon is looking for in a candidate early on. So how do you get hired into an internship or job at Amazon?

First, let’s get an understanding of Amazon’s hiring process. Believe it or not, Amazon’s recruiting starts 12+ months before the start date of a hired employee and most new hires start between April and September. To help you get started, we compiled a timeline of Amazon’s hiring process to give you the added edge.

12+ months ahead: In order to get hired at Amazon, Amazon recommends that candidates start exploring their positions at least 12 months ahead at amazon.jobs. This allows you to get a better understanding of what you want to do at Amazon and what skills you need to be a competitive candidate, as well as gain more insight on what kind of employee they are looking for.

9-12 months ahead: Once you’ve explored Amazon’s available positions and worked on making yourself a better candidate, now is the time to apply. Look for Amazon at on-campus career fairs, or online at Twitch.TV, and apply for roles on amazon.jobs.

5-8 months ahead: You sent in your application, what’s next? This is the time Amazon will pick candidates to bring in to take their assessment and interview. After the interview process, you will find out if you received a job offer from Amazon.

2+ months ahead: Congratulations, you got an offer and you accepted! It’s now time to get your team assignment.

1-2 months ahead: Like we said earlier, most new hires start between April and September, however, start dates are offered throughout the year. At this time, you will start the onboarding process to set you up for success on your first day.

Now let’s get into the ways you can start an internship or fill an entry-level position at Amazon.

Student Internships
Amazon offers student internships globally and has various types of internships, such as technical and engineering, research, and business. Their internships are built for those graduating with an undergraduate degree, Master’s degree, MBA or PhD. While internships are offered throughout the year, the majority of Amazon’s technical internships take place in the summer and last between 12-16 weeks.

Amazon interns work on a variety of projects that accelerate their career growth. In the past, Amazon interns have been involved in projects like writing customer-facing content on the Echo devices, launching Prime pricing, creating real-time feedback systems for our hourly employees, identifying and implementing ways to improve our fulfillment process, and building new features on amazon.com. Their intern projects can range from working on products for customers to creating behind the scenes unreleased features, and span roles in software development, retail, product management, and finance.

Amazon’s internship program is a great opportunity to gain experience and get you ahead. During the duration of an internship, interns own their projects from start to finish. At that time, Amazon teams provide feedback on the intern’s overall performance, deliverables, and skills as they relate to the role, project expectations, and Amazon’s Leadership Principles. So at the end of your internship, you’ll know how you are as an employee and what you need to work on to make yourself an even better candidate.

Interns at Amazon are also provided with both a mentor and a manager who will work to enable their success and help facilitate their career growth. These partners will provide guidance on projects, give feedback on key deliverables, and work to remove barriers. Some of Amazon’s most senior leaders started as interns, so this program is an important source for discovering talent.

Training is a big part of Amazon. Amazon empowers their employees and interns to take full ownership over their work. This is why Amazon provides a variety of self-service resources to help teams meet their goals and learn from one another. Throughout an internship, Amazon provides formal classroom training and self-service offerings. These services help with things like managing experiences, analyzing data, problem solving, writing narrative documents, and working backwards from the customer to the end goal. In addition to projects, interns are provided with many opportunities to develop personal and professional networks by taking part in social events, diving into workshops, joining an Amazon affinity group, and taking advantage of all that Amazon has to offer.

To be a part of their internship program, you can find Amazon visiting various campuses for career fairs or apply for an open role on their Twitch.tv channel or amazon.jobs. Recruiting for student internships happens at different times of the year and hiring timelines can vary by Amazon team, location, and role type.

Jobs for Grads
You’re about to graduate and it’s time to start thinking about where you want to work after graduation. If Amazon is the answer (or one of the places you’d like to work), you’re in luck! Amazon hires entry-level positions. Amazon jobs for recent grads are typically based in technical, engineering, research, and business areas. Whether you’re graduating with an undergraduate degree, Master’s degree, MBA or PhD, Amazon teams have positions available globally.

Let’s get into some of the types of jobs for grads that Amazon hires...

Technical and Engineering: Amazon has many opportunities for students graduating with a technical degree. These can range from designing and building innovative technologies in a large distributed computing environment, to designing innovative consumer products for Amazon customers.

Research: Graduating PhD and Master’s students contribute to solving diverse technical problems across large scale platforms. These roles work to develop novel and highly scalable applications using cutting edge quantitative techniques in machine learning, computer vision, operations research, and distributed computing.

Business: These roles offer undergrad, Master’s, and MBA students the opportunity to contribute to the company’s overall growth by creating strategic project plans, working with key business groups, and using data and analytics to solve complex problems for Amazon customers.

Again, you can apply for Amazon’s entry-level positions on their Twitch.tv channel or at amazon.jobs.

How Can PathMatch Help?
PathMatch has helped thousands of students and grads gain a competitive edge over other applicants. Our flexible plans are designed to give students an insider's look at how to get hired at top companies and a chance to connect with career coaches who have experience recruiting for top companies like Amazon.

Want more tips on getting a job on Amazon to fit in your pocket for on-the-go resources? Download our PathMatch app today! 

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