There are a lot of jobs in Salesforce, but demand is different around the globe. So, if you are serious at getting a job in Salesforce, then the best way is to immerse yourself in EVERYTHING Salesforce. Make sure you set a goal but remember that a goal without a plan is just a wish.
Identifying your Salesforce career goal
In my experience, when people think of their Salesforce learning goals, they have the wrong goal or the goal is too nearsighted. The goals “pass the Salesforce Administrator Certification” or “get a Salesforce admin job” are worthy aims, but I think starting with a longer-term goal is better. So a long term goal could be “To be successful, useful and enjoy working with Salesforce”. Then break that goal down into smaller goals, “Passing the Salesforce Administrator Certification”, “Getting an interview working in Salesforce”, “Engaging with my local Community”, “Getting a job”, “Completing a piece of work for a company on time which went beyond what I was asked” etc…
First, the long term goal
I feel a longer-term goal is important so that you don’t make the wrong decisions on your short term goals. Take the “passing the Salesforce Admin Certification” goal, that could be as easy as downloading the exam dumps from somewhere, learning them off by heart and passing the test. But doing this will never get you a job in Salesforce as you would fail every interview. If you do pass the interview, you will be in a company that knows nothing about Salesforce, can’t support you and being successful and enjoying your job becomes a lot harder.
What you need on your CV/Resume to get a Salesforce Job
Suppose the goal is “Getting a job working in Salesforce” to do that you need a successful interview. So what would need to be on your resume/CV to make it stand out above the others? Certifications? Experience (don’t have any make some) and think of the softer skills and show that you are committed to Salesforce. Here are a couple of ideas:
So the key to achieving your goal is preparation and setting yourself up for success. I can get distracted, and I use a couple of tools and techniques to keep me focused on my goals, one thing I use A LOT is the SELF Journal by BestSelf. With its 12-week structure, it is brilliant at keeping you laser-focused on your goals on a week by week basis.
Passing the Salesforce Administrator Certification
I’ve taught over 60,000 people Salesforce from 156 countries using my 13+ years experience using Salesforce, and my Salesforce Admin Certification course is a good start. Still, there is also Trailhead, Salesforce’s training platform. There are two Trailmixes which you can use to study for the Salesforce Admin exam: Prepare for your Salesforce Administrator Credential, and Study for the Administrator Certification Exam. But one word of warning, Trailhead isn’t that focused on the certification curriculum. You can end up learning things in too much detail, not enough detail or not even relevant for your certification. If you do use Salesforce Trailhead make sure you stay focused on your goal of getting certified and a Salesforce job.
Engaging with the Salesforce Community
The Trailblazer Salesforce Community is AMAZING and really supportive. Going to a local Salesforce community group, either online or in-person, is like a shot in the arm of motivation each month. It is also a great place to get your questions answers and networking with local people to find out the companies that use Salesforce in your local area. If you don’t have a local group for you… start one! That’s what I did! I helped start the London Salesforce Developer community group back in 2011 and then the London Salesforce Admin Group. You can usually find me at one of these groups most months!
Focus on the Salesforce Job and would look good on your CV/Resume
Always have the end in mind. When I’m looking at CV’s, I’m looking for three aspects of the individual, Training/Certifications, Experience and Passion. In my mind, you don’t have to amazing at all of them, but you have to be good in at least one. In fact, I hired someone recently for a Salesforce job who had only an Admin Certification and about a years experience with Salesforce for a team lead role. Their related experience in other CRMs, other tech certifications was great, and they really demonstrated they had the Passion for Salesforce.
- Training/Certifications; What certifications does the individual have? If you’re already on this site you know that getting a Salesforce Certified is one of the best ways to show that you know Salesforce. But are all your certifications in Salesforce? or are they in other technology areas that could show a different aspect to you? If you have a lot of Salesforce Certifications, my questions in an interview will be a lot harder than if you have only one so be prepared! If you have passed a specific certification on, e.g. Pardot I expect you to know what you are talking about when it comes to Pardot. I also think that actually, the value of Salesforce certifications diminishes the more certifications you get. There is a tipping point where I feel that an AWS, Azure or GCP or softer process skill (ScrumMaster, TOGAF9 etc.) certifications become more valuable than just another Salesforce certification and makes your CV/Resume stick out above the crowd. I believe understanding what happens outside the Salesforce bubble and bringing that to the table, is just as important has knowing Salesforce.
- Experience; What experience do you have? Now for me, nothing beats commercial experience, but that experience may not have to be Salesforce. If you have experience in another CRM like Sibel, then this is great! If you haven’t got any commercial experience, then have you made your own Salesforce experience? E.g. Have you created an app that fixes a business problem? You could reach out to a local company or non-profit to ask them if you could model a business problem they have right now into a Salesforce app to help you learn Salesforce. It may be that the company/non-profit doesn’t use the app, but that doesn’t really matter in my mind, it’s about going through the process. It allows me to ask questions to find out how you created the app and why you took different design decisions because at the end of the day there is no one correct way of building something. I want to know how your mind works and works through problems. It’s not just about learning Salesforce from a book and passing an exam.
- Passion/X-Factor; Do you love what you do? Do you get a kick out of listening to Salesforce Podcasts on the way into work or going to Trailblazer Community Groups in the evening in your own time? Or simply fixing that business problem in Salesforce? Passion or X-Factor can be hard to quantify, and it’s rare in the people I interview, but when I find it, it’s like striking gold. But this definitely depends on where the individual is in their Salesforce Career. So if it’s early on this may not be as important for me when I’m interviewing as the individual may not have found their passion yet. One of the great things about Salesforce is it’s used across many different industries, so you may have found Salesforce, but may not have found the industry you are passionate about.
Play to your strengths
I receive many messages from students saying, “I work in the financial industry can I get a Salesforce job?” or “I work on Microsoft Dynamics or SAP can I change my career to a Salesforce career”? My answer. OF COURSE YOU CAN! In fact, your industry and previous experience can get you a brilliant job in Salesforce. At the end of the day, Salesforce is the enabler to improve business processes and customer interactions. But at its heart, it’s a business system, not an IT system. Therefore, industry knowledge can elevate you if you have industry experience, play to that strength. If you have worked in the financial industry, check out the financial apps and integrations with Salesforce (Financial Cloud, FinancialForce etc.). Or if you have been a business analyst, take a look at the apps like Elements.Cloud or the common assets that are used in Salesforce analysis). The goal is to make your previous experience relevant to a role in Salesforce to make your CV/Resume the best it can be.