2022 10K Breaking into Salesforce-R2

How to Break Into Salesforce

Do you want to land a job as a Salesforce professional? It’s totally within reach. 

Despite recent tech layoffs at major companies, talks of hiring freezes, and slowdowns, research shows that Salesforce remains hot with growing customer demand. Pivoting into a Salesforce role is an excellent and smart next career step for anyone willing to put in the work and dedication.   

Whether you’re looking for a new job with stability or are currently employed and Salesforce-curious, the good news is absolutely anyone can break into the Salesforce ecosystem. It will, however, require more than Trailhead certifications and badges. 

Most recruiters we know in the industry agree that focused professional development – real-life education, experience, and relationships – are absolute necessities for landing an entry-level Salesforce role. Yes, even Administrators. 

The beauty of every Salesforce career is no single trajectory is the same. Here are some actionable steps to help blaze your own trail and land your first Salesforce role. 

Imposter syndrome, who? Put your hand up!

Nine times out of ten, an absence of hands-on experience will be the deal breaker for companies hiring for Salesforce roles, including entry-level.  

The chicken or the egg? This is a frustrating scenario for many job seekers looking to enter a new field. “How am I supposed to land a job to gain experience when I don’t have experience?” Hence the phrase “breaking in” (it’s the hard part!).

The good news is, the Salesforce ecosystem is a behemoth. There are plenty of opportunities to gain experience working with the platform. It’s all about building relationships, knowing where to look and where to volunteer. 

If you’re currently a Salesforce end-user… 

No one wants to be the “yes man” and be overloaded with work, but taking on a Salesforce project at your current company is the easiest way to gain experience. The opportunity to work on new and challenging projects is truly priceless. Especially when thousands of other tech workers are striving to do the same thing. As an end-user, you’re already a step ahead of some of the competition. 

Tune into your organization’s Salesforce program’s challenges and initiatives, then volunteer to take on the task. This kind of hands-on experience will not only build confidence, but demonstrate a go-getter mentality and motivation to learn, grow, and be a team player. 

The projects you volunteer for probably won’t be sexy or have high visibility, but that’s a small price to pay for the end goal: Landing a Salesforce career. Ask to help with current or future internal salesforce projects as a stakeholder, tester, or beta group user. This will expose you to how new features are designed and implemented. 

If you’re currently looking for work…

If you have the resources and 5-10 hours per week, build your Salesforce experience and volunteer for a nonprofit or startup. Choose an organization whose goal and initiatives align with your interest to make volunteering a win-win scenario. Volunteering is an awesome way to gain experience, but remember, Salesforce is a critical piece to serving a nonprofit’s mission. Approach the opportunity with respect!

Promote the hell out of yourself 

The Salesforce job market is competitive and you’ll need to promote yourself to rise above the noise. You are your loudest and most knowledgable advocate. Before reaching out to any companies, do the standard ‘landing a new job’ housekeeping. 

Spend time getting your LinkedIn profile into shape. Flip your “looking for work” setting on and make sure your profile features relevant keywords to attract your ideal Salesforce roles/industries. 

With a LinkedIn profile that’s ready to sell, turn to your LinkedIn connections and their networks to find others who will be excited to advocate for you. Find people who have your ideal roles and reach out to learn more about their Salesforce journey. The Salesforce Ohana is real and many are passionate about helping others break into the ecosystem. 

Cold messaging may feel strange or annoying, but with intention, it won’t come across that way. It also helps that people love to talk about themselves, and the Salesforce talent community is called Salesforce Ohana for a reason. If you’ve got drive and kindness, most (we would bet a solid three out of five) Salesforce folks are willing to help. 

Come prepared with questions

The ultimate flex is asking for help with no fear – whether it’s which skills to focus on sharpening, where your resume needs color, an introduction, or career advice, the important thing is to just ask

It also helps to explain your “why.” What is your motivation and desire to pivot into Salesforce? Ask about their career trajectory and listen closely for lessons that can help your journey. 

The term ‘networking’ has a corny connotation but data proves it shouldn’t. According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking and CNBC reported that 70% of jobs are never published publicly. The squeaky wheel gets oiled, so start squeaking!

Upskill, upskill, upskill 

Hit Trailhead with a laser focus on developing your Salesforce knowledge and soft skills. A solid Trail to start with is Skill Up for the Future with Trailhead.   

Salesforce is constantly expanding its breadth of offerings. With specialized products and triannual releases, growing customer demand is helping create a steady flow of new career opportunities. If you’re committed to doing whatever hard work needs to be done, you can break into Salesforce. Once you land that first Salesforce job, your career truly has no ceiling. 

Check out our 2022 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report to see how experienced Administrators have seized the opportunity to level up into more specialized roles like Business Analyst, Consultant, and Solution Architect. 

Fold yourself into the Salesforce Ohana 

The Salesforce ecosystem is flush with local user groups and online forums. They are excellent resources to turn to for wisdom, introductions, and support. 

Tap into in-person communities for relationship building and camaraderie, such as Salesforce Saturday meetups, other community events, and Trailblazer community meetups

Keep an eye on upcoming regional community conferences – such as WITness Success or Midwest Dreamin’ – to make new friendships and sit in on info sessions. 

If online relationship and community building is more your speed, Reddit has an active community of Salesforce professionals (r/salesforce). It’s an open forum to ask questions about career pathing and learn about Salesforce use cases and project troubleshooting. 

Landing a first-time Salesforce gig isn’t always easy, but it is everyone’s opportunity for the taking. If you have questions for our team, contact us or check out more 10K articles here. 

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