By Carolina Lopez
With 3.3 million new Salesforce jobs expected by 2022, Salesforce has created an incredible industry which not only encourages innovation but is powering job growth across the globe.
This presents a new challenge for Salesforce professionals; how do you compete with new talent and stand out from the crowd?
At Dreamforce, I was lucky enough to host a session on maximizing your earning potential in the Salesforce community. The adapted transcript below covers the eight actionable tips you need to follow if you’re looking to excel in your career and increase your Salesforce salary — whether you’re just starting out or you’re already a seasoned expert.
1. Get certified to become a literal expert
There are a lot of different Salesforce certifications out there; which ones are going to make you stand out from the competition?
As a recruiter, I get clients knocking on my door asking for candidates with quite specific certifications — the Platform Developer 2 cert, for example. And as you’ll see in our Salesforce salary survey, very few people have one.
If you’re someone that has a Platform Developer 2 certification, you’re going to stand out from the crowd. There’s going to be people looking for you.
Look for gaps in your own resume. If you don’t have experience with a particular product, take the initiative, complete the courses and, most importantly, let people know that you’re now an expert in that area.
2. Develop your case studies to truly understand the field
I have folks asking me all the time: ‘Carolina, I only have a few months of experience, what can I do to land that job; what can I do to get my salary a little bit higher?’
There’s a lot you can do. The great thing is that Salesforce provides amazing online training that you can access yourself; you can self-teach. Along with that, I always recommend that you reach out to your local nonprofits. There are a lot of nonprofits that need extra hands and will really appreciate that pro bono work. It’s a great way to get some extra experience on your resume to help you stand out as a junior candidate applying for a higher-level job.
3. Carve out a niche using your industry knowledge
Salesforce is a niche in itself, but you will truly stand out if you have some tailored experience in a specific industry or product. So if you work in the healthcare industry and you’re leading a health cloud implementation, that’s awesome. There’s going to be healthcare companies looking for you because they’re about to do the same thing. Same with nonprofits. If you’re an expert with nonprofits, be sure to make that your focus. You understand which products integrate well with that, what sort of tools nonprofits can use so that they can really fully utilize the platform, and which new technologies apply to certain industries — you can become an expert in each of these.
4. Those with coding skills tend to earn more
We’re not all developers, and that’s okay, but what we find on our salary surveys is that those with coding experience do tend to earn a bit more. As do Technical Architects. So if that is really what matters to you, go out there and learn some Apex! Developing your knowledge of backend coding can really boost your earnings — those are the salaries that we tend to see as higher, and the skills that companies tend to dish out a few more bucks for.
5. Always be prepared to evolve and grow
This applies to any industry really. If you started off as a Salesforce Admin in a company but you subsequently became a Developer and then an Architect within five years, for example, you’re going to stand out so much more than someone who was an Admin for a year at three different companies.
The average tenure for a Salesforce professional is about two and a half years, so if you’re someone who surpasses that, or falls short, people are going to notice. We always look at how long you’ve been somewhere and how you’ve developed in your role.
6. Hit the road — different locations carry different salaries
As a Salesforce Admin, you’re not going to make as much in Ohio as you are in New York. First and foremost that’s because of the cost of living, but you will find that you can make a lot more in certain areas because those regions have a much higher demand. New York, California, and Texas are the hotbeds of Salesforce; if you go to one of those areas, the odds are people are willing to pay a little bit more for what you’ve got to offer.
Another thing to consider is travel. There are some road warriors out there that travel 100% — they’re normally consultants. These folks tend to make more money overall, just because they’re putting in that extra time and going the extra mile for work.
7. Stay at the forefront of technology
It’s okay if all of your experience is with Sales Cloud, but what’s really going to make you stand out is if you have experience with newer products that very few people are familiar with. If you have experience with Salesforce Einstein Analytics, for example, you’re going to stand out — it’s really tough for us to find someone like that.
8. Grow your personal brand and portfolio
There’s a lot of ways you can do this. LinkedIn, Trailhead badges, training, resumes, interviews.
What you have to understand is that LinkedIn is the tool that every employer is going to use to find you. Every recruiter in every company has a LinkedIn account and they’re sifting through trying to find folks like yourself. So make sure your LinkedIn looks amazing and represents you in the best way. Throw all of the certifications and Trailhead badges that you have on there. If you don’t know how to do that, drop us an email and we can help you.
People tend to say, ‘hey, I’m a Salesforce Developer’ or ‘I’m a Salesforce Admin’ but we want to know more. Tell us more on LinkedIn. Tell us what Cloud you’re using. Tell us what technologies you’ve integrated, what applications you’ve integrated. Tell us how big your user base is. That’s really going to help through a LinkedIn search and make you stand out for very specific roles. I promise you’ll get more tailored LinkedIn messages and outreach if you tailor your profile.
Make sure you’re highlighting all these things on your resume as well. If you don’t have a lot to add now, talk about your future development. Include the certifications you’re working towards, and set a date for when you’re looking to hit that goal. That shows initiative — it shows us you’re already out there doing the course that is going to push you into that higher salary bracket.
Last but not least…
There’s a huge Salesforce community out there. There are so many ways you can mingle with people; Salesforce user groups, meetups to network with people with similar interests, even the comments section below. You have all the tools you need to make a name for yourself. Be that person in DC who’s the best non-profit Admin. Stand out from the crowd.
If you’d like some personal advice on how you could be earning more, get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, register today for one of our consultants to evaluate your current job role and salary.
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