Huge crowds of people waited in long lines for tips on how to snag one of 30,000 jobs at Amazon Career Day. Here's what it was like on the ground in Arlington.

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

The event - which was held concurrently in six major US cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle, and Arlington - is part of Amazon's push to fill 30,000 open jobs across its corporate offices, fulfillment centers, and stores. The event 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 the new 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 resumes and briefcases to take advantage of onsite resume reviewing and interview tips, which was by far the most sought-after service in Arlington.

Ardine Williams, 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:

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

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

Williams, Amazon's vice president of workforce development, said the headquarters already has 70 employees who are currently 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.

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

It just kept going ...

It just kept going ...

... and going ...

... and going ...

... and going.

... and going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Here was another prospective employee seeking valuable insights.

Here was another prospective employee seeking valuable insights.

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

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

There was also a cold brew coffee stand.

There was also a cold brew coffee stand.

Amazon even had some fun with the snacks.

Amazon even had some fun with the snacks.

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

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

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

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

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

... including one specifically for people with a military background ...

... including one specifically for people with a military background ...

... as well as one on fintech and finance.

... as well as one on fintech and finance.

Booths on Amazon Web Services and Alexa were especially popular.

Booths on Amazon Web Services and Alexa were especially popular.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here Amazon employees shared information about upcoming events like crafting.

When we left around 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.

When we left around 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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