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Consumer Division

Understanding Amazon’s flywheel

Anyone who has worked at Amazon for more than a couple weeks has heard the term “flywheel”. In fact, I suspect that many, if not most, people who interview here discuss the flywheel as part of their onsite interviews. So getting your head around Amazon’s concept of the “virtuous cycle” prior to interviews here is a good idea; I recommend researching it as part of your preparation process, not only to understand the idea of the flywheel but also to be able to articulate how your potential work at Amazon (and/or the work of the group you are interviewing with would contribute to spinning it.

The concept says a lot about how Amazon thinks about investment opportunities and why we are growing so quickly. Along with the Leadership Principles, I think it makes very clear how Amazon operates day-to-day. So I thought I would help explain the flywheel a little bit here to introduce the concept.

A flywheel is a system where each of the components is an accelerator. Invest in any one of the components and, as the flywheel spins, it benefits all components. And the flywheel spinning is how the system grows. Jim Collins popularized the flywheel concept in Good to Great. I’ll drop a link to his writing on flywheels at the bottom of this post.

Here’s Amazon’s flywheel:
Amazon Flywheel

I think seeing the image helps put Amazon’s customer obsession in context too. Because you can understand the different levers that ultimately lead to great experiences for customers and how all of us Amazonians are all part of it. If we do work that brings more traffic to, we’ll attract more sellers wanting to reach this larger number of potential customers. Attracting more sellers increases our selection, which improves the customer experience. This brings more traffic to You can see how focusing attention on any of these components – traffic, sellers, selection or customer experience – distributes more energy to all of them. The whole system grows.

Then, as a result of the spinning, we are able to lower our cost structure which allows us to lower prices, also enhancing the customer experience. So the flywheel spins even faster as it grows; the growth itself is an accelerator. This is how Amazon went from a garage to the company you know today in a relatively short period of time.

Here are some links to additional content that will help you learn more about flywheels in general and how the concept applies to Amazon’s business in particular.

Inc. Magazine does a good job of explaining the flywheel concept

Steve Rosenbaum on how Jeff Bezos leads from behind

Jim Collins’ articles on the flywheel

Reducing and Re-using your Amazon packaging

As you may know, tomorrow (April 22nd) is Earth Day. Living in Seattle, it’s easy to find ways to get outside and soak in nature (beaches, mountains, trails galore). But today I thought I would share a couple of Amazon’s innovations that are helping by reducing and re-using packaging. I’ve used both of these innovations in the last week (and do regularly). And I’ll continue to do so until more sustainable long-term options are available (like maybe packaging free delivery or bins a’ la Amazon Fresh).

Give Back Box

Amazon is partnering with Give Back Box to give you an opportunity to re-use your Amazon boxes and to make donating easier for you. Fill your Amazon box with items you would like to donate, print out a free shipping label and click a checkbox to arrange for pickup by UPS or the postal service.

I’m a bit of a neatnik and a KonMari advocate. So since the program was announced, I’ve been challenging myself to fill each Amazon box I receive (and to be clear, that’s several a week) with items for donation. All items need to be clean and suitable for re-use (think: things you would see on sale at a Goodwill store). But this program has actually gotten me to part with a large volume of “maybe I will use that one day” items. When I receive an Amazon delivery, I just leave my box by the door and toss in things I find around the house that I don’t need anymore. Let me tell you, it feels great.

You get the satisfaction of helping people, don’t have to store and deliver your donation items, and you have less cardboard to haul out to the curb on recycling day.

Frustration-Free Packaging

Every time I think of Frustration-Free Packaging, I mentally shout “no more clamshells!”. F-FP is  standard for some products and an option on many other product detail pages, allowing you to opt for packaging that is 100% recyclable and easy to open. Often, it means that items will be shipped in their original boxes (you can opt to have it shipped in an Amazon box if it’s a gift). Items come without unnecessary air pillows or outer boxes. No clamshells, no twist ties, no frustration. Chances are you have received an Amazon order that uses Frustration-Free Packaging without even knowing it.

Frustration-Free Packaging has been around since 2008; the program launched by providing more customer (and environment) friendly packing on the 19 worst offenders when it comes to wrap rage; the kinds of products where home consumers got to look for garden sheers because their scissors weren’t strong enough and then prove that you really can make yourself bleed with plastic retail packaging.

All of our new packaging solutions are lab-tested to ensure product still reach their final destination safely. Since launch, the program has eliminated over 100 million pounds (you read that right) of excess packaging. By the way, we also have a packaging feedback program so if you still find something that’s frustrating or your item doesn’t arrive as expected, you can let the packaging team know.

So maybe for Earth Day, you’ll be inspired to do a little donating via Give Back Box and you’ll know to select Frustration-Free Packaging as an option when you see it.

 If you're interested in more info on Amazon's sustainable packaging efforts, see this interview with Brent Nelson, Amazon's Senior Manager of Customer Packaging Experience. 

Ayesha Harper leads the organization developing your favorite AmazonBasics

Ayesha HarperIn a recent blog interview, I gave you a glimpse into product management here at Amazon. Most people think of Amazon as a place where you can buy just about anything. But we also make a lot of products. So today I am posting an interview with Ayesha Harper, Director and General Manager of Private Label in our Hardlines division. In this interview, we talk about the Product Manager role, her path at Amazon and career mobility. We also geeked out a little over cool customer experiences.

Hi Ayesha. You’re the leader of Private Label for Hardlines. I imagine that most of the people reading this don’t know what that is.

Private label products are those we develop and sell on our website; they are Amazon-owned brands, manufactured exclusively for Amazon. In Hardlines, our private label brands are AmazonBasics, which spans a number of different product categories, and Pinzon, a bath and bedding brand.

Hardlines at Amazon is a broad and diversified business. It includes Consumer Electronics and product categories within the home like Kitchen, Home Improvement, Tools, Sports, Toys and more. Another way to think about it is that it’s not physical media (Books and DVDs, for example), not Fashion products and not Grocery items. It’s the rest...

It must be really challenging and fun to create new products from scratch. But you didn’t start out in product development at Amazon.

I’ve had five different roles in my nine years here. Amazon very much values movement in your career. Because of the number of businesses here, you are able to see businesses in different phases of growth or with completely different cycles. For example, a group like Toys has a heavy holiday season where working in Amazon Business might not.

In my career path at Amazon within Retail, I’ve been able to experience different categories. I’ve worked in Fashion, Media and now Hardlines. Each of those businesses have different challenges and growth trajectories.

When I joined, I had no idea how diversified Amazon would become over time and all the opportunities that would be available. The company has done such amazing things. Nine years later, we are developing award-winning original content, we have a huge business with Amazon Web Services, and we’re making first-party devices such as Kindle and Echo. So Amazon just continues to get more and more diversified.

And that movement between teams or these broader organizations like AWS and Kindle is available at all levels. You don’t have to be a business leader to experience that kind of variety at Amazon.

Right. From year-to-year, there’s quite a bit of movement within an organization. What we are doing in Retail and across the company is building great businesses and general management leaders. Our feeling is that folks who are able to experience and lead different organizations will be better employees and business managers.

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At Amazon, you can innovate faster than you’ve ever innovated before

The pace of our work at Amazon is fast. When it comes to innovating, we focus on getting our work into the hands of consumers as quickly as possible. This gives us the opportunity to learn from our customers and improve upon what we’ve built. We never stop looking for ways to make the experience we deliver to customers better. It’s part of our DNA.

Because of the quick pace of innovation here, it sometimes feels like, as a company, we’ve packed several years’ worth of launches, awards and innovations into one year.

Last year was no exception. Here is a sampling of some of the exciting things we produced last year.



One of my favorite fast innovation stories is about Prime Now, which took 111 days from idea to launch. Amazon Prime is probably the best example I can think of when it comes to our commitment to ongoing innovation on behalf of customers. The list of benefits that come with a Prime membership keeps growing (Lifehacker has a good list here they seem to be keeping updated).

What this means for employees here is fresh, new problems to solve. And ambitious goals (like enabling one-hour delivery).

Dave Lefkow: from Bacon Salt to Wickedly Prime

Dave Lefkow 1Dave Lefkow is the perfect lunch buddy. Currently a Senior Product Manager in our Consumables retail organization, he’s responsible for bringing deliciousness to customers’ Amazon shopping experience. And he always knows a great spot to grab lunch. We recently sat down over banh mi to talk about his work and food.

We’ve been friends for a while and one thing we have in common is that we’re both from Chicago. 2016 was a great year to be from Chi-town. Anything to say about the World Series?

My co-workers know what a huge Cubs fan I am, so they congratulated me like I actually played on the team. I guess I did drink a lot of Old Style to help make this happen… so I humbly accepted their congratulations.

You’re a Senior Product Manager in Amazon’s Consumables Private Label business. What is Consumables, exactly?

If you consume it, it’s a consumable product. Obviously, food and drinks. But other things people use up too, like toothpaste, cosmetics and baby diapers.

Wickedly PrimeWhat do you do in your role?

I develop snacks for Amazon’s own private label food brand, Wickedly Prime. Anything you might snack on – nuts, chips, popcorn - I’m working on. Yes, it’s as great as it sounds.

I also work with an amazing team of researchers, product developers, packaging/commercialization engineers and sourcing managers. Our group is doing some really innovative things to bring these products to life, and I’m really proud to be part of it.

When I talk to people about the work they do at Amazon, they always seem to connect it to a vision that makes the work more important or “impactful” than it seems. Why is your work important to Amazon?

Grocery is a growing channel at Amazon that the company is investing heavily in. As we get into making our private label line, we’re learning a lot about how to optimize things for the Amazon platform that will translate into a better overall customer experience across the board.

As part of that, I get to solve some pretty meaty business challenges like how we can cost effectively get delicate products to survive last mile, air and over-mountain shipping and what packaging innovations Amazon can develop that a traditional grocer can’t.

Aside from getting to work on those cool challenges, what else is particularly challenging about your work or the Consumables space?

We’re a startup with the resources of the leading ecommerce provider behind us. But… we had never developed our own packaged food products before. That comes with a whole new set of challenges, and an iterative process that is evolving as we learn more lessons.

Learning as you go is a theme I hear a lot at Amazon, especially since we are such a data-driven company. But fortunately, you have experience in packaged foods, so it’s not all new to you. Can you tell everyone what did you do before you joined Amazon?

Before Amazon, I was quite literally pursuing bacon-flavored interests – as founder and CEO of J&D’s Foods.

While working in the tech space, a friend and I came up with a crazy idea: a seasoning that makes everything taste like bacon. We called it Bacon Salt.  We ended up winning money on America’s Funniest Home Videos (my kid hit me in the face with a whiffle ball) and buying 6,000 jars of Bacon Salt to start.

All 6,000 jars of Bacon Salt sold out in 5 days to people in 12 countries and 25 states – we did it from a website without spending a dollar on marketing. Then things got really crazy.

We got interviewed on Oprah for 10 minutes. We were on ABC News, the Today Show, The Tonight Show, the Late Show, Good Morning America, Daily Candy – over 3 billion consumer PR impressions in all. We parlayed this into distribution in more than half the grocery stores in America. We made other bacony products like Baconnaise, Bacon Croutons, Bacon Popcorn and holiday novelties like Bacon Lip Balm, Bacon Flavored Envelopes (called Mmmvelopes) and Bacon Scented Pillowcases – among others.

In short, we built a multi-million dollar company with the premise that “Everything should taste like bacon.” Only in America!

OK, but seriously, WHY bacon? I have to admit that this is somewhat of a rhetorical question because: mmmm, bacon.

Why wouldn’t you want your food to taste like bacon? The fact that it hadn’t been done before was the surprising part.

Dave Lefkow Anderson CooperI was at your launch party for Baconnaise and saw some crazy stuff. What are some of the weirdest things you did or had happen to you because of Bacon Salt?

There are a lot of crazy things to choose from (including almost getting arrested at a national monument in a giant bacon costume and having Anderson Cooper and Jon Stewart absolutely hate on us on national television).

But the all-time craziest story is the time that I fell through the roof of an RV dressed as a giant slice of bacon. It happened when we were promoting our launch at a chain of stores in Pennsylvania. We thought it would be a good idea to hit college football tailgaters and pass out free Bacon Salt – dressed as Giant Bacon. At a Penn State game, some college kids took me up to the top of an RV to do a kegstand, and walking back (Giant Bacon can’t see his feet!), I fell through one of those little plastic windows onto a couch below – where their dad was watching football. I’ll never forget what he said: “You’re paying for that window, son.”

That is a great story, assuming that your landing was soft. So I assume that your experience dressing up as Giant Bacon isn’t really applicable to what you are doing at Amazon, but how do you think other aspects of your experience as a bacontrepreneur has benefitted you here?

I’m able to apply my experience to a much bigger set of challenges and opportunities at Amazon.

Ownership, drive, innovation, customer obsession - these are all skills I learned as an entrepreneur and use heavily here. It might sound cheesy, but as I watch my products come to life, I really feel like an owner at Amazon.

I also love to invent. And Amazon is like a playground for inventors. If you have a great idea, they want to hear it and there are processes to bring them to life.

Do you get sick of thinking about food all day or does it make you hungry?

I live to eat – so thinking about food makes me hungry and happy. Mmmm… food.

OK, so if you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Well, bacon gets its own wing in my food hall of fame. And, by the way, variety is the spice of life, so I wouldn’t ever want to eat 3 foods for the rest of my life. But if you’re asking for my 3 favorites, I’d say: chicken tikka masala, gnocchi in black truffle cream sauce (from List in downtown Seattle), and bourbon pecan bread pudding.

Ooh, those are good. Foods made out of bread are the best. Aside from eating, what do you do for fun outside of work?

I play water polo – it’s the only sport that allows me to burn all the calories I consume on a daily basis. I also have two great kids, a cat, a dog, and a wonderful partner in crime. We hike, we explore, we play games. We jump on trampolines – never a dull moment! 

I mentioned that you are  great lunch buddy, and maybe when this blog posts gets published you will have a bunch more lunch invitations. What is your favorite lunch place in South Lake Union (Amazon’s neighborhood)?

There are way too many good ones to choose from to pick one – I’m loving the urban campus!

Let’s start with breakfast – I like the Zach sandwich at Serious Pie and Biscuit. It’s all sorts of bacony, biscuity, fried chickeny goodness. The Pasta Bolognese at re:public is pretty awesome. And we’re pretty close to some other spectacular eating adventures. Like Dutch babies at Tilikum Café. Crumpets (Vermont Life Changer) from The Crumpet Shop. Onion Obsession sandwiches at Paseo or Un Bien.

I have to agree about the Zach at Serious Biscuit (followed by a nap) and that re:public is also great. It’s one of my favorite places for happy hour (they make a great old fashioned).  We are a little spoiled by the food options around here.

Awhile back, I started something on my team called Lunch Around the World – every month we pick a new area of the world to lunch on. We’ve had some really excellent Indian (North and South), Mexican, Oaxacan, Caribbean, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and Greek foods.  Like I said, variety is the spice of life!

I imagine your team is full of food-lovers like yourself, so the lunchtime conversations must be fun. I imagine there are some hazards to the job.

Let’s just say that for every food product we launch, my coworkers and I have eaten several pounds of it before it gets to the consumer. It’s a labor of love, but I’m guessing my doctor will have something to say about my sodium intake at my next checkup. And we all have to watch our weight. Totally worth it though!

 Thanks for lunch and the great conversation, Dave!

If you are interested in developing product, we have Private Label teams across several of our retail categories. You can find several of the Private Label job openings here.

Using Amazon’s career site (blog series): when you know what you’re looking for

Career site search

Note: this blog post is for the active job-seekers out there. Casual readers may be bored by the detail. What can I say? I am honest.

Not long ago, I shared a post about Amazon’s career site and some thoughts on career sites in general. I promised more words on how to use Amazon’s site for different job search scenarios related to how much the job-seekers knows about Amazon’s many organizations and job roles. 

In this post, I’ll talk a bit about the user experience when that person knows the group and role that interests them. I hope to make this process of navigating our site as simple and fruitful as possible for those of you who are interested in joining us. So my insight on how the site actually works might help you save some time.

As I am sure you know, Amazon is a big company, and we do a lot of hiring. So there are high volumes of teams and jobs represented on our site. There are three things you can use to cut through this massive amount of information: navigation, search and filters. Unless you want to spend time scrolling through thousands of job postings looking for the right one. I’ll use an example to illustrate the approach I recommend when you know the team you want to work in and the type of role on that team that would best match your skills.

Here’s the example: I recently posted about Prime Air. And I suspect that the idea of drones delivering packages to customers is pretty exciting, especially for folks working in tech. So for our example, let’s say a software developer is interested in working in Prime Air.

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Prime Air's first delivery

We recently released video of Prime Air's very first, fully autonomous customer delivery. On December 7th, a nice man in England placed an order which was delivered to a little landing spot in his yard. The amount of time from click to receipt of order? Thirteen minutes. Though keep in mind, as the video explains, that we are testing with relatively nearby (and smaller) fulfillment facilities.

You may have noticed that the drone design has changed. And since the purpose of a private beta is to test, learn and innovate (or re-innovate), there may be more changes to come. I wish I had some inside knowledge to share but as I have mentioned before, we have so many teams launching new, innovative projects that even those of us working here often see all of these cool innovations roll out at the same time you do.

To learn a little more about Prime Air, you can view our informational webpage here

Some of you might also wonder what kinds of skills it takes to work in Prime Air. Current openings include research scientists, software developers and  variety of other kinds of engineer roles. You can check out their current openings on this page.

Oh, and a little trivia for you: the first delivery was a Fire TV and a bag of popcorn. Sounds like someone planning for a fun night in.


Amazon Prime Air_Private Trial_Ground-HIGH RES

Recruiter Spotlight: Verjeigh McMillon speaks about her involvement in Amazon’s Black Employee Network

VerjeighFrom time to time, I’ll introduce you to recruiters here at Amazon who have something particularly interesting going on that I think you might want to know about. Today’s post is a recruiter spotlight with my co-worker Verjeigh McMillon, who is on the board of Amazon’s Black Employee Network.

Heather: Hi Verjeigh, can you start out by introducing yourself to our readers?

Verjeigh: Sure, I am Verjeigh McMillon, a Technical Sourcing Recruiter for the Customer Relationships team. They are the people who develop new customer experiences on based on the relationships between account holders - like households, and families who want to manage access to content and buying privileges for kids.

Heather: How long have you been at Amazon?

Verjeigh: I am a new comer to Amazon. My family and I relocated from Washington DC 8 months ago.

Heather: What is your favorite part of working at Amazon?

Verjeigh: Two things come to mind: opportunity and ownership. I have been encouraged to be ambitious and to innovate in my space. I have been able to launch new initiatives –such as an upcoming recruitment event in partnership with our Black Employees Network (BEN) – in days, that would have taken years in other organizations. With preparation and a good business case the sky is the limit with Amazon.

Heather: You mentioned that you recruit for the Customer Relationships team. What kind of positions do you recruit for and what kinds of skills or qualities do you look for?

Verjeigh: I recruit for a number of professional profiles, both tech and non-tech. From UX designers, data engineers, (the ever coveted) software development engineer, to marketing, program and product managers, we’re hiring for them all. Customer Relationships is a growing new initiative team and is part of our e-commerce platform. We are true innovators and are enhancing the customer experience across, membership platforms (Prime, Amazon Library, Amazon Households) and devices. At the core of our team are pioneers, individuals who thrive in ambiguity and are willing to explore new territory. So job-seekers that match that profile are a great for our team. Also, the customer-obsessed also have a special place in our hearts.

Heather: You are a part of Amazon’s Black Employee Network. Can you tell us a little about the organization and your involvement?

Verjeigh: I have a passion to increase opportunity for underrepresented populations and joined the Black Employee Network to make an impact. Recently, I was voted in as Technical Recruitment Chair for BEN at Amazon. The Black Employee Network provides support for underrepresented minorities at Amazon through building community, and it champions diversity throughout the company. The group was established in 2005 and was Amazon’s first affinity group. And although BEN was created to provide support for black employees at Amazon, it’s not an exclusive organization. We welcome membership and participation from those outside the black community. We have committees that support recruitment, retention, professional development, community service, social activities and minority business. We host a variety of events including community outreach, recruiting events, happy hours and tech talks. We have an open house event for technical job seekers coming up in November.

Heather: How does an employee become a BEN member?

Verjeigh: They just repeat after me: “I want to be a part of BEN.” it’s really that simple. We have an email alias that can be subscribed to that keeps members up to date on coming events and opportunities to participate.

Heather: BEN is co-sponsoring an upcoming interview event for software developers at Amazon. Can you tell us about it?

Verjeigh: We’re excited about hosting Amazon’s first Black in Tech recruitment event on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. BEN has partnered with the Customer Relationships team, which I support, for this event focused in interviewing and hiring senior software developers.

Heather: If someone is interested in being considered to interview at this event, what should they do and what does the process look like?

Verjeigh: We are seeking Software Development Engineers. Candidates fitting this profile are invited to apply at here or contact me directly at . Candidates that do not fit this profile can email me directly with their resume to gain information about current or future opportunities.

Our process is fairly straight forward. Once a candidate submits their resume/application we will review and invite well aligned candidates to complete an online technical assessment. Candidates who complete a successful assessment will be able to speak with a team member and then be invited to visit us onsite for a full-day interview. At this event candidates will meet team members, view our beautiful campus, discuss their background, and code (in their language of choice). We’ll be making hiring decisions shortly after the event.

Although this event is being launched in partnership with an affinity group all candidates are being considered equally.

Heather: Can you explain a little more about the hiring team?

Verjeigh: The Customer Relationships team, also known as Amazon Households, is made of product management and technical teams that develop new customer experiences. Their engineers create and maintain services that enable business teams to offer household related benefits through programs like Amazon Prime, Amazon Family, Alexa, and Family Library. Their work impacts millions of customers shopping on and other Amazon marketplaces, using Kindle and watching Fire TV. Technical teams across the company leverage the services developed by this team.

Heather: Do you have any recruiting words of wisdom for people who are interested in working at Amazon?

Verjeigh: Become familiar with the Amazon leadership principals (LPs). This is truly the core of our culture and a clear picture of the type of individuals you will work beside on a daily basis.

In preparation for my Amazon interview, I studied the LPs (I didn’t cram, I studied for a week). I picked 4 LPs I index high on and wrote out examples where I showed these qualities in my professional background. I didn’t speak to all the examples I wrote but, it put me in the right mind to have the level of discussion needed with my interviewers. I was prepared.  

Also have fun and relax, you are interviewing us just as much as we are interviewing you.

Heather: Great advice. Thanks Verjeigh!

Using Amazon’s Career Site (blog series)

ValuesActive job-seekers out there are no doubt spending some time on company career sites – and I suspect many of you have visited ours. I’m in the process of creating some new content for, which will help users learn about working in our Consumer Division. But in the meantime, I’m going to share some thoughts on navigating the site and highlight some of my favorite content. I’m also going to drop a link into the menu bar above, so you can click through and check it out.

In normal Amazon fashion, I will work backward from the user experience and talk about how you might navigate the site depending on how much you know about Amazon and your interest in specific roles. I envision 4 scenarios:    

    1) A user shows up on knowing the group they want to work in and the role that best fits them

    2) A user shows up on and doesn’t know what group they are interested in or the right role. Hey, they are just browsing here.

    3) A user shows up and knows the right job role for them but there are so many groups to choose from and it’s hard to find them on the site.

    4) A user shows up on with a burning desire to work for a specific organization, but isn’t sure how their skills would fit.

I’m going to create a separate blog post for each of these scenarios. I will also provide info on good places to find additional info on and some tips, regardless of which user scenario best matches your situation.

So while you are waiting for those posts, I will share some of my thoughts on career sites in general.

Typically, people visit a career site specifically to search for job postings that match their background. And obviously this kind of searching behavior is a lot of what we see going on at But something that I would encourage visitors to also think about when visiting a career site is using it to understand what the company values. Any well-constructed career site is going to feature more than just job postings. Sometimes you have to dig a bit, and even though you might think that all career site content feels the same (I mean, everyone talks about making an impact and that type of thing, us included), you can find some nuggets that give you a true sense of what a company thinks is important. On, our leadership principles are the best example if this I can think of.  

If you look at those principles and think “I feel like that too!” or “those are the things I value”, there’s a good chance that you will like it here. If you look at them and even feel lukewarm, I’ll be honest: this might not be the place for you. Because as an employee here, you will hear those principles referenced day in and day out. They are used for decision-making from the high level strategic decisions around our vision as a company to simple choices around how we do our work. And our employees are held accountable by those principles.

So when you are on a career site, Amazon’s or another company’s, look for an indication of what is valued and decide how closely their values resonate with you.

I recently watched video of an organization where teams sing when visitors walk through their work area. For some people, that might sound like fun. For others, perhaps it would feel like torture. But having silly fun was part of their culture and clearly an attractor for the right kinds of job-seekers. This is exactly the right kind of content for companies to be featuring on their career sites, by the way. Candidates should have some kind of reaction to the content and use it to opt in or opt out.

Another recommendation is to use career sites for resume and interviewing intelligence. In the past, when I have spoken with people seeking advice about their job search, one of the things they ask about is getting the attention of recruiters. This is definitely the right thing to be asking, especially if you are interested in working at a company that receives a massive volume of applicants. Reading about the company values I mentioned above, as well as the job specs (and the words they use to describe the work) should help you write or tweak your resume to get the attention of recruiters. First, you should be looking at the actual words they use in the job specs and ensure that you are using the same words to describe that kind of work on your resume. For example, referring to the software development framework used as either “agile software development” or “scrum” can mean the difference between a resume showing up in a recruiter’s search and not. Now hopefully, a recruiter looking for this experience is going to search both of those things, but often they will start with the simplest search first. And if the job spec calls for “scrum experience”, that is how they will search for it. So look at the job postings to understand the words used to describe specific types of experience.

Also look at the job postings and the company information on the career site to identify what is important to include on a resume. It’s easy to look past a lot of the buzz-wordy content on a job description. But if you know Amazon cares about delivering results (and we do, because it’s in our leadership principles and many job descriptions), you know it’s important to be explicit about the types of results you were able to achieve in previous roles. By the way, I don’t know a company where delivering results isn’t important so you should do this exercise anyway. But definitely think about how you can incorporate some of the culture elements into your own resume (and still be honest, of course).

More coming on using soon. And please feel free to add questions here if there’s anything I can answer for you.