Leadership

Top Amazon recruiter reveals how you can score a job at the retail giant

It's no surprise that Amazon is one of the most sought after companies millennials want to work for after graduating. But, if you want to nab a job at the online retailer, you should be "relentlessly curious" and care about helping the retail giant's customers.

That's according to Miriam Park, director of Amazon's university recruiting, in an exclusive interview with CNBC Make It.

Amazon is arguably one of the most in-demand companies to work for. In fact, the online retailer ranks as one of the top 10 companies millennials are most excited to work for, according to a recent study by the survey development platform SurveyMonkey.

Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey, tells CNBC Make It that young professionals are flocking to companies like Amazon because they give them what they want most: career growth, flexibility and a sense of purpose.

Job seekers register before interviews during an Amazon jobs fair at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on August 2, 2017 in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
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Job seekers register before interviews during an Amazon jobs fair at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on August 2, 2017 in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

For any given job posting at Amazon, there are thousands of applicants vying for the position. "We are delighted by the volume of people that respond," says the head recruiter. With so many applicants looking to get hired, how can millennial job seekers stand out when applying to the company?

First, Park suggests applicants take a hard look at the company's main principle: Focus on the customer. "We would consider ourselves customer-centric," says Park. "We start working backwards from the customer."

Park says that the company culture is laser-focused on this rhetoric: What problem are we trying to solve for our customers? Knowing this, applicants should highlight where they have worked in a customer based role, focus on jobs that deal with the "customer profession" (even something as small as being a sales clerk) and highlight examples where they made things better for the customer by going "above and beyond."

This customer driven ideology has been a longtime mantra of Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos. "What has worked at Amazon is focusing on the customer...putting the customer first, which is easy to say but difficult to do," Bezos tells CNN in a 2013 interview. "We work on things that we know customers like and that's not going to change."

Park's next piece of advice for young professionals is to be "relentlessly curious." She says the company always asks itself: "Can something be better?"

Curiosity is particularly important, says Park, because although Amazon is viewed as a massive marketplace, it's really just a "series of start-ups." The company continually explores new ideas and welcomes innovation from its employees, she says.

"Amazon is a super fun place because it's so dynamic," says Park. This means the company looks for "deeply curious" workers because "things are always changing and there's always something new to be involved in."

Finally, the company places a high value on employees who can "take ownership of and beyond your role," Park says. Younger applicants who are just joining the workforce should focus on where they've shown a challenge, on their resume and in interviews. "Make it very driven on the impact," says the recruiter.

Applicants should also point out areas in which "they've taken ownership of something that is not in your wheelhouse," she says. Why? Because the company wants people who "rise up to attack a challenge" and who can "show that you're doing something above and beyond your comfort zone."

This is especially important as the company grows and expands into new territories, such as its latest stint in food technology for home delivery.

She leaves prospective applicants with this final piece of advice: Focus on "how you have owned a role and moved the needle forward, demonstrated curiosity and where you have solved a problem."

See also:

Facebook's HR chief reveals how to get a job at the social media giant

Female Google engineer on viral memo: 'I was painfully unsurprised'

The ultimate guide to getting a job in your 20s