Episode 1: How to Get Started with Salesforce
What is this episode all about?
In this episode, I break down a common question in the Salesforce world. "How do I get my foot in the door?" I go through the 3 main things that have helped me in my career and expand on how I could have leveraged those tools more in the beginning and what I am doing now.
Alright, I started a podcast up. What my main goal of this thing is, is to answer some FAQ that people send my way on LinkedIn about Salesforce, hopefully, add some value that is harder to find in the Salesforce world, and interview some interesting folks and get their story of inspiration on how they have been navigating the Salesforce waters. If there is something you wish to hear on this podcast or feedback on how to make this a better listening experience, please let me know. I would love to see this thing grow and help the community so all the advice, tips, suggestions, complaints I get the better. Alright, cool thanks for reading. Now below I have the outline of the conversation so you can refer back to it after listening.
Sign up for it if you don't have one. (psssst... it's freaking free)
SF sponsored place for users to learn Salesforce. Every SF topic you can think of will be found here.
The rankings actually matter. Companies and SF people pay attention to your rank and it holds weight so go all in and become a "Ranger" and beyond.
Consider building a portfolio in some type of form. This could be a blog site where you jot down thoughts and build out how-to guides similar to what I do here OR it could be a place where you just record cool things you know how to build. If you go the 2nd route I would recommend recording them somehow. Loom is a great tool to do this. Remember that your audience may not be super technical so a visualization in your portfolio I think would go a long way.
Once you have signed up for a Trailhead account, you will see that you can create sandboxes there (once again, freaking free) and you can use this however you want. Something that is seriously underutilized in my opinion is using this to build cool things to showcase to people. Remember something cool you had to build at work? Great, now build that in a different use case and create it here in your sandbox so you can show your future employers how good you really are.
Yep, volunteer - unpaid work. It's a thing. It exists. People do it. You should consider it too. Shout out to @Jason Jung here, he mentioned a site he used to find a volunteer Salesforce job so he could gain more hands-on experience. Volunteer Match is the site and you could search for Salesforce jobs there. Just as Jason did, I think this one is cool because if you do not have SF experience this would be a great way to get it.
What you will find is that most companies burn through LinkedIn looking for a Salesforce position by searching with keywords. Since certifications hold a lot of weight in the community the gatekeeper is going to head on over to LinkedIn and type in "Certified Salesforce _________". If you have that cert, I would suggest putting that keyword somewhere on your LinkedIn profile so they can find you. So in other words if nothing else, the cert plays a part in the discovery process here. To be found the company wants a bare minimum from the potential employee and will search like this, based on my experience.
Certification will give you "instant value". As I mentioned above, chances are - this is how you will be discovered in the Salesforce world for a potential job. You know how to code but don't have a dev cert...? That's on you for not getting it. If you only have an admin cert but you understand more in the Salesforce world - how do you expect someone looking for a dev role is going to roll up on your profile? I say they don't. It would have to be based on luck or something like a reference. That's what I have seen at least. I say you take the time to get that cert so they know you are playing with the big boys and they then don't have to try to spend "x" amount of minutes looking through your profile only to figure out if you know how to code or not.
#3 How to Apply
Alright here is something you are going to be like "ummm yeah duh. That is common sense." or you'll say "ahhhh okay yeah I need to start doing that, that's smart! go blog post!". So you see a posting for a company you have been dying to work at. They post the perfect position for you. Sure apply for the job. Great. Now you and all other 100 applicants sit there in a pile and what do you think your chances are? Maybe great. Maybe not so great. I say go a step further. Head on over to that company's profile on LinkedIn. Let's say Google posted this position. I would head over to Google's profile. I would then click on the tab titled "people". I would then search by keywords like "Salesforce Admin" or "Recruiter" or "Sales Operation Manager". After those people pop up, I am then going to "view" their profile. I want to view it because it's going to notify them that I viewed it. Putting my name in front of them. I am then going to send them a connection invite. If you are feeling extra saucy, go ahead and write a little note to them saying you saw the newly opened position and applied and you just won't be complete in life until you work for them. Cool. If you don't send them a note on the invite I would be watching your alerts for when they accept your connection. I would then get in those DMs and say that fluffy post of how you're excited for the role and yadda yadda. I think this will give you more of an edge for the job. May not guarantee the job but them seeing your face pop up several times AND THEN seeing your name again when they see it in the application pile - yeah chances to me seem way better at that point. Especially if you do make a good impression in the DMs. They will most likely remember that and be like "Wowowowow... so and so was awesome! They reached out to me and made such a good impression on me!" lol, something like that at least. So try that tip on for size.
Repeat really what I put above but lets put it in the scenario where the company hasn't posted an app yet. I think you can do this same thing and either... - 1. You make a good impression so that when the time comes to hire for a position you wanted they may remember you and reach out. - 2. They say "Hey we were actually kicking around the idea of hiring for this, when can we call you?" What I like to call a "No Lose Mentality". No matter what with this approach you ain't about to lose. Only everything to gain from this strategy.
Dealing with Rejection
Rejection will most likely happen unless you are just the most amazing Salesforce person out there so prepare for this part. When you get rejected do what you can to ask for feedback from the company so they can point out your weak areas. I always try to do this. Sometimes they are lame and just ignore you or never even reject you, they just straight ghost you lol which is also really cool.
If you get ghosted then I would try to reach out to the SFDC community or a friend or a coworker or someone that can give you valuable feedback. Give them your resume and LinkedIn profile and ask where you can improve. This is valuable because what I find is that their feedback is in areas I never even considered.
Lastly, consider this story I listened to awhile back on a podcast by Gary Vee. A guest is on the podcast with him and says he interviewed for a job. Gets to the top 50. Then get to the top 10. Finally to the top 5. They call him in and say sorry you didn't get the job. He leaves really bummed out and is like "man, that sucks. I really thought I had that job." He decides to send them an email and asks why he didn't get it and for feedback. They call him back in. They say "guess what? We gave all 5 of you a no and we wanted to see who would reach back out for feedback and that person was going to get the job since it showed they wanted to improve and do their best." So kinda crazy cause they also admit to saying like if nobody reached out, nobody would have gotten the job either. With that being said, I would start following up after you get rejected cause you never know the impact it could have on you getting the job.
What Path to Choose
In Salesforce there are a lot of paths that you can choose. In my opinion, it matters less what you are doing initially if you are just trying to get your foot in the door. Do you want to be an architect? Cool. Take that Jr. Admin job and start getting the experience you need. Don't wait until you have done like 900 badges in Trailhead and have written 1000 posts on Salesforce architecture and have 7 certs to start applying for that role. Get in, get your experience, and keep working on the side to get those things done. I feel that can be applied to any role. Consultant, Dev Guy, whatever. Get in and THEN start figuring out how to craft your way down that path.
I have seen in my experience people who want to code but are currently admins. They then start doing coding projects for the company as needed and express interest of going the dev route. Next thing you know the company promotes this person to a dev person and he/she is in. Never had to worry about applying. Never had to worry about switching jobs. Just started coding when needed and then before they knew it, they were a Salesforce developer.
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS ☁
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