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I'm Salesforce Certified—Now What? 8 Tips to Prepare you for Your #DreamJob

In our “I'm Salesforce Certified—Now What?“ series, we bring you hints and tips from the #SalesforceOhana of what your next steps should be after obtaining your hard-earned Salesforce credential. Our first post comes from our very own, Sophie Westbrook. Let me start by saying: I am not Salesforce

In our “I’m Salesforce Certified—Now What?“ series, we bring you hints and tips from the #SalesforceOhana of what your next steps should be after obtaining your hard-earned Salesforce credential. Our first post comes from our very own, Sophie Westbrook.

Let me start by saying: I am not Salesforce certified. I’ve sat for a certification exam—multiple times, in fact—but have never passed. So why on earth am I writing this blog about being certified? Let me tell you.

I’ve worked at Salesforce for almost 11 years now, and in my time here I’ve had a LOT of conversations about certification. You’ll find me in the Success Community, at every Dreamforce, most World Tours, Destination Success, TrailheaDX, and tons of other events, chatting with customers who are either thinking about earning a Salesforce certification, or are looking for the next step on their certification journey.

According to IDC, the Salesforce ecosystem will create 1.9M new jobs by 2020. That’s 1.9M opportunities for you to find your #dreamjob! As an organization, we’re constantly encouraging people to get certified, and are telling employers to always hire Salesforce certified professionals whenever possible. A Salesforce certification is a great way for individuals to stand out and prove their expertise, and for employers to ensure that the people they hire have the right skills needed to do the job. But with all this buzz out there, some people are finding it hard to find a Salesforce job now that they are certified, as job postings often specify “certified with experience” (sound familiar?).

Getting certified isn’t easy, and neither is finding your #dreamjob. It takes hard work, perseverance, networking, and determination. Luckily for you, I’ve taken my years of Salesforce experience (including my time as a Salesforce recruiter), my deep understanding of the certification program, the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with Salesforce customers about growing their careers, and my passion for helping people, and I’ve put them into these helpful 8 tips to help you land your #Dreamjob as a Salesforce certified professional. So here goes …

1) Keep building your skills with Trailhead and certifications.

Badges (especially ones earned via projects), superbadges, and certifications aren’t easy to earn. They require real skills and knowledge, and are a great way to showcase your areas of expertise. And don’t be afraid to show them off. You can add your Trailhead profile to your resume so future employers can see what badges you’ve earned (check out my profile). Just make sure Public Profile in the About Me section is set to Yes. Same goes for showcasing your certifications. Just enter your name into the verification system, hit Enter, and copy the URL that includes your name (see mine here, but remember, I’m not certified…yet).

2) Join your local User Group/s in the Success Community.

There are a bunch of amazing user groups with folks happy and eager to help. Most user groups have regular meet-ups, anywhere from quarterly to monthly. They will be a great resource for you to network, learn, and get your name out there. Just search for the city you live in, or your nearest major metropolitan area.

3) Answer questions in the Success Community.

Being Salesforce certified means you’ve got mad skills. Put those skills to good use and help to answer questions in the Success Community. This is a great way to get your name out there, help others, and solidify your skills.

4) Volunteer with nonprofits.

Many nonprofit organizations receive Salesforce licenses as part of their grant, and then aren’t sure how to use them, and the person responsible for administering Salesforce usually isn’t an admin by trade. That’s where you come in. This is a good way for you to get some hands-on experience administering Salesforce, including understanding business requirements and putting them in place with a Salesforce solution. Many nonprofits will post the projects they need help with to Taproot, Catch-a-fire, LinkedIn, or Global Pro Bono Network. Keep in mind, most nonprofits use the Nonprofit Success Pack, so you’ll need to be familiar with it if you want to assist. You should also familiarize yourself with the nonprofit world by completing the Manage Fundraising for Nonprofits and Manage Volunteers for Nonprofits trails on Trailhead.

5) Get a free developer edition org and play around with it.

Use your developer org to build a custom application that is relevant to you and that you’re excited about creating. After all, it’s easy to build something if you’re passionate about it. For example, maybe build an app that tracks chores around the house, or that consolidates your recipes or your movie database; anything, really! You can also add that as experience on your resume. Many employers are looking for “experienced” Salesforce professionals, and this is a great way to get hands-on experience building apps.

6) Do some freelance work.

Some companies might not need a full-time administrator or developer to manage their Salesforce instance. Use sites like this one to promote yourself as a freelance Salesforce certified professional, and see the hands-on experience and networking opportunities start rolling in!

7) Be active on social networks.

Especially those that focus on certified professionals and job postings. Make sure you join the Salesforce Certification Group in LinkedIn, where jobs get posted regularly on the job posting tab. Also make sure you’re a member of the Salesforce Certified Professionals group, and the Job Postings group in the Success Community, where you can network with like-minded peers, and stay in the know when it comes to people posting about open positions.

8) Reach out to a recruiting agency for help.

Don’t just count on your own networks to find a job. Leverage recruiting agencies that specialize in placing Salesforce certified professionals. They are a great resource for you as they know the market, and they benefit from placing you just as much as you benefit from being placed in a role.

There you have it! My 8 Top Tips summary from the countless certification conversations I’ve had with professionals (like you!) over the past decade. Inspired? Great! Now go out and find your #Dreamjob as a Salesforce certified professional. 

Profile photo of Sophie Westbrook
Sophie Westbrook Director, Trailhead Marketing

After multiple roles spanning recruiting, program management, and event marketing, Sophie has found her niche at Salesforce as a Product Marketer. She is a Salesforce-certified Admin and a Trailhead Ranger with 15+ years of experience at Salesforce. In addition to launching new products and services that help Trailblazers be successful with Salesforce, Sophie is passionate about cooking, hiking, and spending time with her two kids, dog, and husband.

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