Preface: this post is part of The Definitive Salesforce Careers Guide series.
For the first time ever, it’s getting harder and harder to find a job as a Salesforce admin.
It’s not because demand for Salesforce is decreasing however. Salesforce is still by far the #1 player. Rather, the supply of Salesforce admins is increasing really, really, quickly.
That said, you can still find a job with 100% success, you just have to be smart about it. Follow these tips and it’ll be hard for companies NOT to hire you. If I had to start all over again, here’s what I’d do:
|Get FIVE Salesforce certifications|
I imagine this feat sounds ridiculous to most newcomers.
Realistically, getting five certifications with zero Salesforce experience is not uncommon. For some people, this step will only take a month. Remember, these tests are conveniently taken online as well.
How else will your resume stand out vs people with experience and certs? You have to out-cert them.
See my Salesforce Certifications Guide for info on which certs to take and how to prepare for them!
|Earn 100 Trailhead badges and 3 super badges|
Certifications will give you depth, and Trailhead will give you breadth of knowledge.
Make sure to put your Trailhead Ranger (100 badges) status on your resume. This signals to employers that you’re serious about learning Salesforce and you’ve put in the time to prove it.
Special thanks to Steph Herrera, Salesforce MVP and a recruiting company VP for suggesting this!
|Join two Salesforce user groups|
The Salesforce community is a special phenomena. People really like helping each other here!
Getting involved will multiply your success in the Salesforce world. It’s almost unheard of to be a strong Salesforce professional without somehow being involved in the community.
There is such a strong correlation here that I ask every interview candidate how much they’re involved in the Salesforce community. It’s a big red flag if they don’t go to user groups.
Plus, Salesforce recruiters love to hang out at user groups. I’ve gotten a job at one myself!
Find two users groups out of the hundreds of in-person or virtual groups around you!
|Build your own business using Salesforce|
This is a required step. It separates the serious people from those just going through the motions.
Build a business in Salesforce – any business. It doesn’t have to involve money. You just need to think like a CEO and build a Salesforce org from scratch using your own creativity.
Example: got a bunch of old stuff lying around? Build a free Salesforce org to track your efforts selling them. You can use Opportunities to track the status, sale date, and price of each item.
Another example: track all your job applications using Salesforce. Use Accounts for each company, and Opportunities for each application. Heck, do whatever is interesting to you!
Put the org login on your resume and show off your reports on your phone during interviews.
This step is absolutely required as it fills the Salesforce experience gap on your resume.
P.S. a volunteer Salesforce position is another great way to get experience – if you can find one!
|Optional: Learn to code!|
While the Salesforce admin job market is squeezing, the developer market is as hot as ever!
I firmly believe that anyone can code – especially in the Salesforce industry. So many people from so many different backgrounds have succeeded. Plus, learning to code is easier than it has ever been!
You don’t even need to be a good developer. Or a full-time developer. A hybrid admin / developer is extremely popular – especially for the smaller businesses that are more likely to hire newcomers.
All your hard work to get in this industry will be well worth it – especially to your wallet!
And for more Salesforce career tips, check out my Salesforce Careers Guide!
On https://www.sfdc99.com/2020/01/25/how-to-get-your-first-job-in-the-salesforce-industry-2/, you have “this is required step” instead of “this is a required step”.
Thanks Mike, fixed!
I am from India. I am have 3 years of experience in mainframes. I have left the job and started with the basic of salesforce. I want to be Salesforce admin and started working on the salesforce admin certification. I have decided t dedicate my all time to salesforce learning ,get certified and get job. Could you please guide on will it be possible to get a job without experience in salesforce?
Can someone from manual testing profile with no development experience get into Salesforce developer role
I live in United Arab Emirates, Dubai, I’d like to know if I embark on learning Salesforce here, will I find Salesforce Admin job?
I’d love to visit to learn more about the Salesforce community there
David was wondering if you could speak to how to land a developer role as a jr Dev? I’ve got 5 certs including platform dev 1, and while there are a lot of SF developer jobs out there, I’m not finding any Jr Dev roles or Admin/Dev hybrids for that matter. Whereas, I do see a number of jr java devs for example. Honestly, I feel like salesforce promises the moon in order to get you to pay for certs, but in reality it’s really, really tough to break in right now. Hate to say it, but I’m starting to think it might be time to jump ship?
IMO get PD2 asap, problem solved!
I say this with all due respect- I love your site and apex academy! But I feel that’s the Standard SF response… get your next cert and all your problems will be solved. But for most people I think experience is the issue. The old catch 22 – you need the job to get experience and you need experience to get the job.
Thank you Jake!!! I think you deserve a longer answer. BTW this is a great question and probably deserves its own post, but here’s my immediate take.
If I were in your situation I still would go for PD2. There really is nothing more effective you can do in a time frame of a few months.
Let’s look at some alternatives:
1. Volunteer. It could easily take you a few months to find a volunteer job. From there, there’s no guarantee your experience there will be helpful towards your next job application. They might make you do admin work 90% of the time. It may look decent on your resume, however, not more decent than PD2.
2. Build your own app. This is generally a good thing to do to get experience. I highly recommend it to most people. But most people simply don’t have the knowledge to scope out an app that’s easy enough to complete in a reasonable time frame while also being interesting enough to hold their attention. Even if you do finish it, putting it on your resume may have marginal gains as most recruiters simply won’t bother to login to it and try it out.
3. Get an entry level job. This is a great step, but we assume this is something you’re trying and not having success in since it would break the catch 22.
4. Optimize your job application. Resume makeover + interview practice. This could easily be your limiting factor right now and overall it’s probably even more effective than getting PD2 but you need an experienced mentor to help you with this, and that is near impossible to find. Note that I recommend applying to mid level dev positions even if you don’t think you have the experience. There is a big shortage of devs these days and companies get desperate.
5. PD2. Realistically, there are only two certs on a job application I really care about. CTA and PD2. Everything else is too easy to game. Technically PD2 can be gamed, but it just hasn’t been done enough yet to impact the market. PD2 actually forces you to do coding projects through the superbadges, similar to point #2 above – so you’re still getting experience. And they’re scoped appropriately to do in a shorter time frame and there’s plenty of help you can find online if you get stuck. It’s reasonable to think someone can get PD2 in a few month’s time frame, while having the equivalent months of volunteer experience won’t look nearly as good. I have never heard anyone with PD2 have trouble finding a job.
6. Networking. Go to all the local user groups, meetups, etc. Dress nicely and dive in!
So Jake if I were in your position I’d do a combination of #6, #5, and #4 in the short run since they have the most bang for the buck. If you don’t have a Salesforce job by then I’d probably say the Salesforce gods have put some sort of hex on you and the best thing to do to avoid their wrath is to switch industries.
Hope this helps!
That certainly does help!! Really appreciate you taking the time to give this answer. Thanks again for all you do here. Can’t tell you how much this site and Apex Academy have helped me. You are awesome. Sounds like I’ll start studying for that PD2.
NP Jake it sounds like you have a good head on you so I really hope you find success soon. Don’t forget to focus on the non-technical parts of your profile too. If you’re not getting calls for interviews, your resume is holding you back and needs a makeover. If you’re failing interviews, sharpen up your story of how even though you lack experience, you can pick things up quickly and have a good spirit. Combine that with your the tech skills you’ll be building and you’re gonna do great. Email me if you have more questions – I am pretty curious about your situation now and we can even go deeper lol.
The fact that you responded to Jake and helped so many in similar situations is really great to see – thanks for all your help David!
WHAT IS PD?
Platform Developer certification
I have 3+ year experience in mainframes. Now can i switch to salesforce?
You can switch anytime honestly!
I worked hard and got 5 certifications in 6 months. I completed 118 badges and 5 superbadges. I learnt to code, earned badges in Apex coding as well.
Applied at companies; however, didn’t even get a call for interview.
Not getting interviews is a tell tale sign that your resume needs work, check this out! https://youtu.be/1ht_-QxRPiE
Yes, excellent idea. Spend 1000+ dollars getting five certificates before you ever have any experience.
Sometimes you gotta spend money to make money!
Someone with heavy .Net development experience should also get the Five Certificates mentioned in the section or should start from Developer certificates?
Great information! tips on how to update your resume is truly helpful!
Explained really well, worth for freshers !!
Excellent post…Specially on setting up your own org