If you’re currently not seeing the success you would like with your Salesforce career search, an alternative option is to think like a farmer by taking a longer-term approach to the process and build meaningful relationships with individuals at companies that you’re interested in.
Each day a successful farmer needs to go out and nurture their land to help produce the crop that they’ve planted. If we were to take this same concept and apply it to your Salesforce career search, it may lead to a better outcome.
Warning: it takes time, and just like a farmer, their results are not immediate.
Step 1: Find the soil where you want to plant.
Define your target audience: how are you searching for your 1st Salesforce position? Can you narrow down the top 5-10 companies that most interest you based on the products or services they provide, their culture, their location, the people that work there or whatever else that might be of interest to you? I’m not referring to if they have a current Salesforce position open immediately, but rather knowing if they run Salesforce or provide Salesforce related services is the outcome that you’re looking for.
Step 2: Start digging your trenches.
Within these companies, are you able to use LinkedIn to locate the Salesforce personnel that you feel has some level of responsibility on the platform?
Once you identify those individuals, send them each a PERSONAL LinkedIn connection request.
“Hi <Manager Michelle, Admin Annie, Developer Debra>, I came across your LinkedIn profile and noticed that you might be working on Salesforce. As I’m just starting my Salesforce career, I would like to connect for future collaboration and knowledge sharing. Thank you, Salesforce Sally”
Keep it short and direct as it’s the 1st time engaging and you’re just looking for the invite to be accepted. This acceptance may take a day, a week or even a month depending on how often they use LinkedIn, or it could be ignored all together, therefore you want to have enough contacts in your reach-out to get some connections early on. That doesn’t mean 100’s as it’s not the quantity that you’re looking for but rather the quality as too many will cause a lot of overhead in later steps.
After acceptance: DO NOT send your resume, or a long dialogue about how great you are, all the skills you have, the Trailhead badges and certification you’ve obtained, etc. Frankly speaking, they probably don’t care and if they did, they should be able to get that information from you LI profile.
Step 3: Plant your seeds (indirectly).
After those contacts accept, not immediately, but rather a few days later, reach back out to them and thank them for accepting, while also asking generously if they would have time for a short call or meet up as you’re looking to learn from them in regards to their career success, how they were able to get started in Salesforce, some of their day to day responsibilities, and the environment and company they work in.
“Hi <Admin Andrew>, thank you for accepting the connection request. I noticed that you’ve been working as a Salesforce Admin for over 3 years now and as I’m just starting my career, I wanted to ask if you had time for a short call or meet-up to hear more about your work and career. If this isn’t a good time, maybe sometime in the future. Again, thanks for connecting.”
This is NOT about you or your job search, at least not directly. It’s about you learning, having interest and genuinely caring about the other individual and what they have to say and building a meaningful relationship.
During that discussion, take notes and ask meaningful questions about what you’ve discussed, as you’ll want to use this for the future in step 4.
Step 4: Water, sunlight, nurture.
At this point, it’s your responsibility to nurture the relationship by staying in touch and keeping the lines of communication open. Therefore, every 2 or 3 weeks, provide something of meaning and value. This could be anything from an article that you just read about in their industry, their company, a Salesforce blog you stumbled upon, a local Salesforce event, something about the release notes that they might be interested in, or even asking their opinion on something that you’ve come across.
The key is, it needs to be relevant.
“Hey <Debbie Developer>, I remember that you mentioned you were using Service Cloud, I came across this recent article and thought you might find it relevant. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.”
Sure, they may not respond, or they might not find the time to check out the article, or just have other pressing priorities. That’s fine, we wait a few more weeks and do it again with another piece of relevant information.
We’re nurturing over time…
Step 5: Your crop will eventually sprout.
As you continue to build trust, rapport, interest, value to others, you’re also positioning yourself to be top of mind, so when an opportunity either opens up at this contact’s company where you might be a good fit or if they go somewhere else or if they hear about a potential position through their connections, they’ll think of you and the little seeds of value and relevance you have provided over time.
Lastly, keep in mind, as a farmer plants seeds, not every seed will turn into a successful harvest. You may experience droughts, floods, freezes, insects, or just other poor conditions that are out of your control. But, if you plant the right seeds and continuously nurture them, eventually your crop will sprout.
Locate, dig, plant, nurture, sprout.