Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce
Showcase Your Salesforce Experience – Even if you don’t have any
Being new in the Salesforce job market can make you feel tiny in this vast Salesforce ecosystem. When you see a job posting, in most cases they seem to be looking for applicants with 2-3 or more years of Salesforce experience. And you may not have any of that at all and you may feel like you will never get a job in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Now, keep in mind that all those experienced Salesforce Admins or Salesforce Consultants have started just like you. Hence, they must be coming from somewhere. And with the Salesforce job market growing constantly, the Salesforce ecosystem is in need of building out more Salesforce professionals, just like YOU.
However, this also means there are a lot of newcomers competing with you. How can you still stand out from the crowd and showcase your Salesforce talent?
Prove your Salesforce Talent in your next Salesforce Job Interview
It’s about the big picture. It’s about understanding the Salesforce platform, how it can improve business processes and how you can contribute with your skills to your future employer’s success. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for a well-rounded skill profile. They are not just looking for your Salesforce Admin Certification or other certifications. They want to see how you can apply your technical knowledge in combination with your soft skills. There are three key aspects employers are looking for:
This means, thinking outside the box. Can you identify what a business needs and what a potential solution may be? This can include setting up Custom Apps and Custom Objects to manage business-specific processes with all corresponding details in one place.
What do you do when you don’t seem to find a declarative solution? This is a common scenario. Do you have to take it to the next level with more complex automations or should you look for a solution on the AppExchange?
This means helping a business look into the future. How can they get business insights and identify potential improvements for future business success and growth, for example with Reports and Dashboards. Maybe consider the integration of Salesforce external data with tools like Tableau.
This doesn’t mean you have to know the apps on the AppExchange or tools like Tableau inside out. That’s impossible. However, having an understanding of the potential capabilities will go a long way. So just step outside your Trailhead zone and take a browse through Salesforce’s product range as well as the AppExchange. Maybe get a free trial for Tableau (or other Salesforce products) or watch some demo videos.
Just like Albert Einstein used to say:
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”Albert Einstein
This means you don’t need to know everything but you need to know when and where to look for answers.
The next question is how you can build up these qualities to prepare for your job interview meaning for your Salesforce dream job.
Build Your Own Salesforce Experience
Even if you don’t have on-the-job experience with Salesforce, you can start building your very own technical experience and soft skills. It all starts with your hands-on practice, a.k.a. experience on Trailhead ▶️ (Video Guide included). And then … taking all that Salesforce knowledge and converting it into a tailored build completely done by yourself.
Does this feel unachievable? No need to pull your hair out! Let’s take it step by step:
Gaining Salesforce Hands-on Experience starts by Learning Salesforce
As mentioned earlier, your Salesforce learning and experience journey starts with Trailhead. Get a Trailhead Account and start learning.
A good starting point is the Salesforce Administrator Certification Trailmix, even if you’re not sure yet whether or not you want to get certified. It covers all fundamental knowledge and hands-on practice every Salesforce professional needs to have, even those that choose not to get certified.
What I’ve done with the official Trailmix though, I’ve tweaked it a little to add a bit more logic and additional learning units, that I know will serve you better grasp the contents. This will give a more comprehensive learning experience:
WeLearnSalesforce: Salesforce Administrator Credential (NOTE: You must be logged in to your Trailhead Account.)
Other WeLearnSalesforce Trailmixes:
If self-guided learning feels to overwhelming, how about taking a Salesforce Course. Have a look at our guided video tutorials and study workbooks to complement your learning success.
Once you’ve got your fundamentals covered, you are ready to take it to the next level. This means, start completing more advanced Trailhead Modules and Projects. This will not only help you prepare better for your Salesforce Certification Exam but it will help you deepen your expertise.
Here are some recommended Trailhead Modules and Projects:
Build a Data Model for a Recruiting App
You can also choose to complete one or more Superbadges. They are provided by Trailhead to give you real-life business use cases of the type of challenges you’ll be confronted with in a real Salesforce Admin job role or similar.
Here’s a great example:
Lightning Experience Reports & Dashboards Specialist Superbadge
While Superbadges won’t take forever they still do require some time and patience to be completed. You may as well skip them for now (but not forever) and see how far you get with what you’ve already learned. Why not give it a go and build your very own business use case.
🌶 Because…eventually, this part is what will set you apart from the competition.
Build your own Salesforce Custom App based on your own Real World Experience
And this is where you can truly prove that you can think outside the box and come up with customized solutions. Now how does this work?
By building your very own app in Salesforce. You are essentially replicating a real-life business process in Salesforce. Simply look around you. What types of shops are in your area? Are you a member of a sports club? Think about how these shops or clubs would manage their day-to-day to-dos. Think about how they would manage their customer details, their memberships, their sales, donations, equipment, and so on?
Take one example and write out the details and then create it in Salesforce. You can use a Trailhead Playground ▶️ (How-to Video), or better, your own Developer Org ▶️ (How-to Video).
🌶 KNOW THIS: It doesn’t have to be perfect, a potential employer just wants to see how you can approach solving a business problem.
Let me give you a couple of examples you can use to create a Custom App on your own:
Salesforce Custom App Example 1 – Manage your job applications:
- Track best job portals (a.k.a. Custom Object)
- Identify suitable positions and corresponding job applications (a.k.a. Custom Objects)
- Use a dedicated workspace for job applications (a.k.a. Custom App)
- Store Recruiter contact details (a.k.a. Account and Contact Standard Objects)
- Manage different types of jobs you may be interested in such as Volunteer, Full-Time, Part-Time etc. (a.k.a. Record Types, Page Layouts)
- Track your application progress (a.k.a. Paths Settings)
- Set up automated follow-up reminders (a.k.a. Flow Builder)
- Monitor time and effort (a.k.a. Reports and Dashboards)
Salesforce Custom App Example 2 – Manage your running club:
- Set up club departments, sponsors (a.k.a. Account Types = Record Types)
- Set up club members (a.k.a. Contacts)
- Manage equipment (a.k.a. Custom Object)
- Track donations (a.k.a. Opportunities)
- Use dedicated workspaces for club internal details versus sponsorship details (a.k.a. Custom Apps)
- Set up automated sponsorship renewals (a.k.a. Flow Builder)
- Monitor sponsorships and donations over time (a.k.a. Reports and Dashboards)
🌶 Struggling to find ideas? Then check out the Salesforce Customer Success Stories. They range from small businesses to larger organizations that have decided to solve their business issues with Salesforce. You can read about the types of challenges and which Salesforce products they chose to overcome these challenges:
Once you’ve created your personal business use case, a.k.a Salesforce Experience, it’s time to tell the world about it!
Share Your Salesforce Experience
Don’t be shy to share your work with Recruiters and Hiring Managers, even if it’s not the typical on-the-job type of experience. It still shows that you’ve developed your Salesforce skills plus soft skills to match the criteria employers are looking for.
Therefore, add your Salesforce experience to your resume. And even better, add it to your LinkedIn profile, because that’s a common place where Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for talent. And you want to make sure you can be found.
And don’t forget to add your Salesforce Certification as well as your Trailblazer.ID.
Gaining Salesforce experience has different faces. They include practicing hands-on with Trailhead, completing Superbadges or building your own Salesforce App. Other ways to gain experience is through volunteer opportunities and of course real-life Salesforce jobs. As I always like to say: Take it step-by-step, and you will get there!
Let me know in the comments if you managed to create your very own Salesforce app. What did you set up? I’d love to hear about it. 👏🏻
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