How Do I Get Salesforce Experience?

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If you’re looking to land a job in the Salesforce ecosystem, experience is going to be a requirement for mosts jobs. However, one of the biggest hurdles is the classic chicken and egg scenario, you don’t have any experience, but you can’t get a job to get experience.

Luckily, there are many other ways to go about getting enough experience to land yourself a job. Many of these junior Salesforce jobs can start at a salary of $60,000+, so let’s dive into the top ways you can start getting experience, today!

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Volunteering for Non-Profits

Volunteer projects are a fantastic way to expand your network, build a resume, sharpen your skills, prepare stories for interviews, and help a great cause. They can also lead to paid opportunities down the line, which has happened to me and many of my colleagues.

Before we dive into a few of my top tips in order to find your first volunteer gig, I implore you to ensure your LinkedIn profile looks incredible. Even though you are volunteering, you are still expected to deliver quality work, and your LinkedIn profile is the best place to showcase yourself.

Video: LinkedIn Profile Review

In my opinion, the best volunteering site is VolunteerMatch.Org, so check out the site, get familiar with how it works, and follow my tips below for maximum success.

Read More: How to Volunteer in the Salesforce Ecosystem

Top Tips for Volunteering

  • Don’t be afraid to apply for positions that may be out of your comfort zone. You may find non-profits are struggling to find applicants and may be willing to work with you, even if you don’t bring everything to the table. 
  • Try to establish a special connection, make sure they understand you believe in their cause.
  • Use LinkedIn to search for the non-profit and connect with any employees you feel relevant. You may very well be the only person who reaches out in a personal way, which can greatly increase your chances of landing a project.
  • Try to limit volunteer projects to under 2 months with non-profits, this helps you to not over-commit and sets an expectation for the client that this will not be a forever relationship. (At the end of your volunteer period they sometimes offer you an hourly wage to continue helping them)
  • Feel free to apply for multiple volunteer projects. If you accept an opportunity it’s okay to let other companies know you’ve already dedicated your time to another project, but may be able to help in the future.
  • Don’t apply any filters when searching inside of VolunteerMatch except using the keyword “Salesforce”. This is just to ensure you can see the maximum number of projects available. 
  • When searching on VolunteerMatch, remember to also search for Virtual projects.
  • When you carry out volunteer projects make sure to add them to your normal work experience section on LinkedIn or your CV.

Completing Real World Projects

Completing sample projects is something a lot of people talk about, but very few actually do. This is a great way to showcase your skills, and prove your value to get experience without a job. 

When done properly, these projects become meaningful conversation topics during interviews. They help you to feel more confident, and allow you to utilize your skills in real, simulated scenarios. 

In order to get the most out of this experience, I recommend putting together a small team of 2-3 people to work on a scenario. You can find people on LinkedIn, the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, or groups like Salesforce For Everyone on Facebook. This will help you to learn to work in a team on a Salesforce project, brainstorm ideas as a group, and venture into functionality you might not have attempted on your own.

Here are a few ideas of Apps you could create…

  • Job Search Tracking App
  • Job Hiring App
  • Salesforce Professional Development Tracking App
  • Exercise & Diet Tracking App
  • Grocery/Shopping List App

In the topics listed, It’s important to put your own creative spin on the Apps you are building. There isn’t one way to build these Apps, there are hundreds, and it will all depend on the requirements you define.

You can easily build these in your Trailhead Playground, create a new Playground or Salesforce Developer Org in order to build these Apps. When you are finished I highly recommend making a video demo of your App and adding it to your Featured section on LinkedIn. The quick steps to do this would be:

  • Use a screen recorder like Loom to record the video. (You can also use any tool you like such as QuickTime on macs and other screen recording software)
  • Setup a free Vimeo, DropBox, Google Drive, or YouTube account and upload the video recording to that video host. (There is no need for the video to be public other than to share it on your LinkedIn profile and/or Portfolio as desired)
  • Add the link to the video to your Featured content on LinkedIn and share it with prospective employers as needed to give a demo of your work, how you communicate and how you have leveraged Salesforce to build creative solutions for real-world situations. This above everything else is important, you are conveying that no matter how many certifications or years of experience that you have, none of it matters when you demo an impressive and properly built solution!

Superbadges

Superbadges on Trailhead, combine the standard quizzes and hands-on practical challenges, with a use case and complex business problem. You will need to understand the business problem, and then implement a solution for it. 

These Superbadges are challenging, and although Trailhead guides you through the solution, they are still an impressive achievement to add to your CV. Putting yourself through these challenges will make you a stronger professional, and will give you stories to tell at an Interview.

To take an example, the Business Administration Superbadge tests your understanding of how to load data into a Salesforce Org, setup user permissions, and configure reports. These tasks are ultimate the bread and butter for any Admin, and can come up regularly in interviews.

Summary

To land yourself a job in the Salesforce space, Certifications aren’t enough, it’s a combination of skills that add up to create skilled Salesforce professionals. Quality real-world experience is one of those major obstacles to landing your first job. But with the right approach, you can ensure you focus your time on the tasks that will provide you with real-world experience, to ensure it pays off in the form of a lucrative career in the Salesforce ecosystem.

If you’re ready to kick-start your career be sure to checkout the Free Salesforce 5 day challenge for more information on getting experience plus way more!

11 thoughts on “How Do I Get Salesforce Experience?

  1. Avatar

    I got my foot in the door using the ‘Know thy Salesforce team’ method mentioned above. I was originally employed at our company as a software support rep. After 6 months, I showed some initiative to move up in the company and they paired me up with our Salesforce Admin, who’d been running our instance for 5+ yrs. The idea was, “What if he ever decided to take leave? We really need a backup.” I sat with him only 2 hours a week, so as not to interfere with my primary support role. We mainly worked on Trailhead, using a Trailmix he put together. I did A LOT of Trailhead on my own at home during this time. At just under 6 months of these trainings, he announced he was leaving to work with a former colleague, and he recommended me for his replacement. We worked out a transition plan, moving me out of my support role into the Salesforce Admin role. I kept doing Trailhead constantly and about 4 months into my new role, I got certified. It’s been quite a journey, with a lot of hard work/challenges, but my career has improved tremendously.

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for sharing Tony. I was the same, that was the ‘method’ I used personally…

      One thing is for sure, as I have moved up in different positions and roles (now as a people manager), you can’t underestimate the need in a team/business for succession planning, and generally Admins can use it to their advantage – as your comment shows! And very glad to hear that the platform has helped improve your career. Similarly it got me out of a call centre, and broadened my exposure to multiple business units.

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    Sad that the old workbooks have been retired. Trailheads are just that — the head of the trail only, and the workbooks went far further. I spent about 3 weeks with the Apex developer one, the trailheads now cover a few hours (and that includes information which really can only be described as Salesforce advertising). I guess folks got scared and having to learn something that would take more than a couple of hours to understand.

    1. Avatar

      Very true, there are still some online – but agreed Trailhead is less involved than some of the projects in Workbooks used to be. I do wonder if that is where we will see Trailmixes/Superbdage head in the future as the platform expands…

  3. Avatar

    Very nice post, you are right. Trailhead is best place to learn about the modules offered by Salesforce to its users- admin, business users & developers to have a strong grip on salesforce. Thanks for posting such a awesome post.

  4. Avatar

    OMG! I was studying the test because I was sure I could fumble my way around. I just completed a SF week long virtual course, I took your SF test and got a 40% studied the materials and test retook and got a 95%. Your advice is so invaluable to a newbie over 50 something female desperately trying to earn 6 figures, while expanding my knowledge.

    Question, my lab (environment) expires in 30 days, can it be extended? Should I extend it or move over to TH?

    Another question: With having just enough knowledge to be dangerous, is there a specific role I could apply for that I can do remotely while focusing on badges, certification, etc., i.e., associate admin?

  5. Avatar

    Thank you for the wonderful article. Very helpful for people looking to seek Salesforce experience.

    May I please request you to provide the link for the NFP trailmix. It seems to not exist when I click on it?

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