Thousands of people waited in long lines for tips about getting hired at Amazon during the e-commerce giant’s Career Day. Here’s what it was like on the ground in Arlington.

Amazon Career Day drew big crowds in Arlington, Virginia.

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Amazon Career Day drew big crowds in Arlington, Virginia.
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Bethany Biron/Business Insider

  • Thousands of prospective Amazon employees attended Amazon Career Day on Tuesday in the company’s largest recruitment effort to date.
  • We visited the event in Arlington, Virginia, the location of Amazon’s forthcoming second headquarters and one of six cities chosen to help attendees learn more about the company’s 30,000 available jobs.
  • “This is a chance for people to really get to the next level and explore and understand” the company, Ardine Williams, Amazon’s vice president of workforce development, told Business Insider. “It gives them the chance to get a view of the broad range of opportunities that exist at Amazon.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

ARLINGTON, Virginia – Despite the heat and lengthy lines, some 5,000 prospective Amazon employees descended on Arlington on Tuesday to participate in Amazon Career Day, the e-commerce giant’s largest recruitment effort to date.

The event – which was held in six major US cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Arlington, and Nashville, Tennessee – is part of Amazon’s push to fill 30,000 open jobs across corporate offices, fulfillment centers, and stores. It builds upon smaller-scale employment events such as Amazon Jobs Day, a 2017 career fair held at a company warehouse in New Jersey.

We visited Amazon Career Day in Arlington, which is also the location of Amazon’s forthcoming second headquarters, or HQ2. Despite the incredibly crowded venue, there was an air of optimism and hopefulness among the diverse array of attendees, spanning all walks of life.

Read more: Amazon is adding 30,000 jobs and holding hiring events today – here’s where to find them

Though Amazon did not take applications, conduct interviews, or make official offers at the event, it featured informational booths, panel discussions, and job-development tools. Several attendees came with résumés and briefcases at the ready for on-site résumé reviewing and interview tips, which was by far the most sought-after service in Arlington.

Ardine Williams, the vice president of workforce development at Amazon, told Business Insider the event was largely a response to feedback from attendees of previous career-development events who indicated they wanted more than just a “singular view” of the company.

“This is a chance for people to really get to the next level and explore and understand” the company, she said.”It gives them the chance to get a view of the broad range of opportunities that exist at Amazon.”

Here’s a closer look at Amazon Career Day in Arlington, Virginia:


Amazon Career Day was held in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, just around the corner from the forthcoming HQ2 building.

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Williams, Amazon’s vice president of workforce development, said the headquarters already had 70 employees who were working in a temporary space.


Once we arrived, we made our way to the back of the line — but quickly found there was no end in sight.

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It just kept going …

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… and going …

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… and going.

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By the time we reached the end of the line, it had made its way down and around several city blocks.

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Finally we reached the entrance, and we were surprised about the relatively small size of the tent.

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Once inside, we found this sign greeting the prospective employees.

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Being inside the tent felt a lot like attending an Amazon-themed wedding, with its string-light aesthetic and ’90s-era music.

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“My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit was a particularly interesting musical choice.


The farther we walked into the tent, the more crowded it got. On one side of the event, attendees were packed in like sardines.

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The most popular station at the event was the résumé review and interview-tip booth.

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One very eager attendee who spotted my press badge confused me for an Amazon employee and asked if I would take a look at his resume.


Here visitors could get specialized one-on-one advice from Amazon employees.

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However, we saw mentoring and networking happening all over the venue.

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Here was another prospective employee seeking valuable insights.

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Both inside the tent and at various points in line, Amazon employees passed out water and snacks to keep spirits and energy levels high.

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There was also a cold-brew coffee stand.

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Amazon even had some fun with the snacks.

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Throughout the day, Amazon held panel discussions on topics like work culture and company growth.

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Here, Williams (right) discussed the experience of working at Amazon.


There was a wide variety of informational booths at the event …

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… including one specifically for people with a military background …

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… as well as one on fintech and finance.

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Booths on Amazon Web Services and Alexa were especially popular.

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Bethany Biron/Business Insider

There was also a booth for Amazon’s social groups and minority-centric programs like the Black Engineering Network and Latinos @ Amazon.

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People waited in line underneath a Jeff Bezos quote to learn about Amazon.

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Bethany Biron/Business Insider

Lining the wall on one side of the tent was a list of Amazon products.

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And on the other was a timeline of important events in Amazon history.

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On the way out, attendees could grab some swag in the form of stickers and pens.

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As we looped around to exit, we saw lines continuing to grow.

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Bethany Biron/Business Insider

It was so crowded that I almost missed the informational table on community building in Crystal City.

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Bethany Biron/Business Insider

Here Amazon employees shared information about coming events like crafting.


When we left at about 2 p.m., the event was still going strong. On Monday, Amazon extended the hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to account for high interest.

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Bethany Biron/Business Insider