Make your career in London at Facebook, Google or Amazon

Facebook announced it was expanding its London office in 2018 by 800. This will make London, Facebook's largest engineering hub outside of the US. If working for Facebook London is on your shortlist then we suggest adding Google and Amazon too who both have major London bases.

As you'd expect, Midnight 30 thinks it's great that candidates can apply to these companies knowing who they'd be working for. This basic still isn't the norm for many in the recruitment industry. Charter #1

Let's take a look closer at each company's London career sites…

Facebook London, Careers

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Facebook is based just off Oxford Street. As well as a strong engineering focus, the seven-storey office will be home to marketing, sales and support for markets in Europe and beyond. Facebook is also supporting UK-based start-ups with its own incubator LDN-LAB which provides intensive three-month programmes to kickstart their businesses.

Their London careers pages state the number of openings at the top along with a text box for searching. A simple employee biography dominates the layout and a page refresh cycles through them. Beneath, the vacancies are listed under various disciplines and you can drill down using keywords.

Look at an opening from your Facebook account and you'll see a list of Facebook staff the company suggests you may know. You can tap through each and send a friend request. Could this be a route to researching jobs with Facebook?

An Apply button leads directly to a Facebook application form; again, if you are logged in, some fields will be populated with data you've already given to Facebook, like your email address and mobile number. The form is clearly labelled and, in the main, well-laid out. The section for self-identification of gender is, perhaps, too simple but this is an evolving nomenclature for us all. And the IM screen names for WhatsApp and Skype are tucked under Additional Information rather than Contact Information.

Each application requires a CV document but oddly, the mobile web page doesn't list Dropbox directly but instead one needs to ignore the Apple Photos & Video options and browse up to Locations and down to Dropbox (or other options). Another oversight is the Save for Later button which is greyed out but when hovered over, disappears; though still functions when clicked.

While today, about  180 jobs are listed, one could see a redesign will be needed if the number significantly increases.

Google London, Careers

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Google choose the King's Cross area for its London presence and expects to shortly have 2,800 Googlers in London. Standout factoid: staff will have their own tunnel from Kings Cross Station to their new office. The London career pages are focused on the jobs themselves and offer little information about staff or the location.

A search page can drill down by keyword, role, degree level and contract terms. Searches can be set as alerts and each match can be added to a shortlist. Be careful, if a search doesn't return many matches, Google lists jobs outside the UK, which might be a timewaster. Google varies the application process depending on the role. For example, UI designers are required to supply a URL for their portfolio; without one Google warns Submissions without a portfolio included will not be considered.

Tap Apply and, if you don't have a Google account, you will need to create one to proceed any further. You don't get to see the form until you do. Once the form appears, a traditional approach is used. Your legal name is required, as is a full postal address. There is an emphasis on educational history and, if this will be your first job, details of your last school too.

Google prompts for an optional cover note with We think your work speaks for itself, so there's no need to write a cover letter. Oddly, this appears even for roles where people don't typically have a portfolio to show.

Amazon London, Careers

This year sees London attract Amazon from Slough, where it opened its first UK office in 1998. Amazon's new Shoreditch-based office is ambitious; space for 5,000 employees.

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Amazon London's career pages get straight to the point, photo' of Tower Bridge aside, with job listings on the main page. A section offers options for drilling down by contract terms, role and Amazon service.

The job descriptions are quite matter-of-fact in style but are focused. Tapping Apply asks you to create a profile. Amazon will help you get started by pulling your name and email address from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Microsoft; or you can start from scratch. To continue the process you'll also need to add a username and password.

On the next step, you upload your CV (from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive), enter your mobile number, full postal address and optionally, your current salary, and what date you can start the job. A cover letter finishes off the form. Amazon takes the prize for the oddest field we've seen in any form: a mandatory field for you to enter your time zone. You're also prompted for a preferred office location, which felt odd for a job specifically based in London - a case of a generic system seeping into the UX.

There is a Finish Later button but it clears the form when tapped. It's best avoided.

Those first two steps make a Profile. Get through them and you'll see a plain HTML form where the first field will ask you to enter your name again. Amazon then asks about any history you have working for Amazon and any non-compete contracts you've signed.

The form includes a series of questions covering various countries - the form has no idea you've applied for a job in London. You'll find questions specific to the Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Romania, Czech Republic and Poland. They are not relevant to applying to the London office and can be ignored.

Submit this page (ignore that you're told you are on step 3 of 4) and your application will be made. Oddly, during testing, we were told our application was already on file.

Conclusion

Amazon's application system is, perhaps, the creakiest, made of multiple systems, requiring more time from a candidate. Google offers the most search functionality (surprise!) and Facebook appears the most welcoming of the three.

Though none provide a map of their London office locations (see Charter #2), they do provide good job descriptions and those office addresses can be looked-up.

So, put those negatives aside and get on to their career sites. It's an exciting time to be working in London and an exciting time to job hunt. Join Facebook, Google or Amazon and help them reach their goals in return for some rocket fuel for your own career goals.