Salesforce Career Seekers (specifically Admins): Why Apex experience?

We often have a healthy debate on why Apex experience is listed on most Admin job descriptions.

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Aren’t we supposed to be focused on clicks not code?

I think Salesforce consultant and instructor Ryan Scalf, laid it out well in yesterday’s Admin/App builder training session.

Think about it this way:

Many customers who have had Salesforce over time probably have some level of Apex already running in their org.

The declarative tools that are available today have evolved and the functionality that was previously built used Apex to meet the requirement.

Therefore, now the customer needs someone to understand what to do with it.

Not necessarily to write more custom code, but rather determining if they can move it into a declarative offering.

Conclusion: If you’re looking to stand out to a potential employer, maybe you want to take a deeper dive and add to your tool-belt a Custom -> Declarative Cheat Sheet that you can break down and speak to during interviews.

A skillet that I think most employers will value.

Regarding Apex skills being needed for Admins for new customer orgs, that warrants another post 🙂

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Salary Crunch

Below is a scenario that you might be challenged with based on the current economic conditions.

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In the simplest terms:

An employer is offering salary X for a position.

X is a lower than market, but since there’s more talent available they’ll get some interested candidates.

You previously made more than X at your last position…let’s say it’s X + 15%.

Therefore, you’d like to be at or above that for your next position…rightfully so.

But, since you’re currently unemployed, you’re willing to consider this position to get working again.

The kicker…

If you tell the employer (or recruiter) that you’re looking for (X + 15%) although it’s more than what’s being offered (X), but you’d still like to be considered, the company might feel you would be an “at risk” hire.

If you’d rather not disclose the salary that you’re looking, this might help prevent you from being rejected, although it’s often going to be asked because of the above situation.

Please keep this scenario in mind as you discuss your salary requirements.

Options: Find the employer that’s going to pay where you want to be on day 1; or ask if the salary can be adjusted after 90, 180 days, etc. to make you whole again.

Continue to look out for #1 (that’s YOU!).

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Salesforce Professionals: Looking through your rear-view…

What’s the #1 skill (or quality) that might have been helpful if you would have obtained it sooner in your career?

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If you say more badges and/or certs, we’re no longer friends…

An up and comer Salesforce newcomer asked this great question yesterday.

Personally, I could have been more assertive and voluntarily stepped into more fires.

In other words, leading, showing initiative, don’t ask (or wait) for the next task at hand, find problems, attempt to solve them, offer yourself up for projects even if you’re unsure, ask others how you can help, and help others when they seem to be struggling.

“In the business world, the rear-view is always clearer than the windshield.” ~Warren Buffett

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Salesforce Guide to Excellence

Do you have a list of the top best practices that you feel every company using Salesforce should be doing?

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If not, maybe now is the time to create one.

Call it : <Your Name> Guide to Salesforce Excellence (or a better name that you come up with).

Sure, this type of documentation already exists, but it’s not your own.

Pick and choose what you like most, or use your own experiences.

Use your creativity…your “brand”.

Then, have this available while you’re going through the interview process, maybe to even share or talk through during the interview.

After your interview with the hiring manager, send them an email thanking them, but more importantly, send this guide to them.

It won’t necessarily mean that you will get hired, but it will mean that you’ve created something you can call your own and have a willingness to help a potential employer to succeed with or without you.

Be a differentiator…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You learned something new.

Prior to the 1st interview with HR, you did the necessary high level company research and had some great questions to ask.

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You learned something new.

It was time well spent…

Prior to the 2nd interview with the hiring manager, you reviewed your resume and knew you would be able to answer almost any question thrown your way.

You learned something new.

It was time well spent…

Prior to the 3rd interview with the hiring manager’s boss, you wrote down some very strategic questions and you showed genuine interest in the company’s success.

You learned something new.

It was time well spent…

After 3 rounds of interviews, you were notified you didn’t land the position.

That wasn’t the outcome you had envisioned.

Briefly, reflect on what you learned during the entire process.

Keeping in mind, it was time well spent…

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” –Harry S Truman (33rd U.S. President)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: One board, one nail, one day at a time…

There’s a new apartment complex going up next to my house and like clock work, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM, I hear boards shuffling and nails being pounded.

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Routine, everyday, most of it mundane, and probably seems endless.

Board by board, nail by nail, hour by hour, 6 days a week.

And while I don’t see noticeable progress each day, I’m fairly confident they’re not just nailing random boards together and goofing off.

Eventually the apartment complex will be complete and the construction workers will be pleased with the outcome.

It reminded me of your Salesforce career journey and how you have to build at it day by day.

And you might not see much progress at the individual day level, but as each board is laid, each nail is driven, you’ll have the Salesforce foundation necessary to see your career start to take shape.

As the great Salesforce instructor, Ryan Scalf, states: “Chop Wood, Carry Water”, focus on the work that matters.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Doing a brain dump.

Of the Salesforce work that you’re doing or have recently done.

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Especially, if you’ve been impacted by a COVID furlough.

Now is the time to get it down on paper (or electronically) and out of your head.

Notes, diagrams, business cases, project plans, status reports, requirements, solutions, test cases, implications, gotchas, snafus, lessons learned, etc.

Maybe even better by rebuilding and simulating some of the solutions in your Dev org.

It could help you in your resume revisions to bring up some additional details that you might not have thought of before.

As well as the ability to review and to be top of mind for future conversations and interviews, when the question of:

“What were some of the things that you were responsible for at your last company?”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Which route are you taking?

If you’ve being impacted by the current employment downturn.

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The route many are headed down includes primarily gaining more certifications and accumulating Trailhead badges.

And while that might be one route to take to stay productive, how about you make a detour?

Steer slightly to the right to see what lies ahead.

Understand that this route will have a few more bumps, limited directions, inaccurate maps, a few bad storms, and will probably cause you to get lost and frustrated at times.

But on this route, you’re able to be creative, apply critical thinking, use and improve the skills that you’ve already obtained, and build your own unique project portfolio.

The route you decide to take now, could make all the difference when more destinations come available.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Fight Club and You

Rule #1 (and #2) of the movie/book, Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club

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Then guess what happened?

In short, 1 person decided to tell 1 other person, who then told 1 more person, and the word kept spreading.

And the Fight Club attendance took off.

People felt it was necessary to get the word out to others like them.

So, how can you have others get the word out about you?

I think one way is by indirectly publishing and showing your connections the Salesforce projects that you’ve completed.

Which are unique, unscripted and something you’re proud of.

With the intent that it’s something a potential employer sees as valuable.

And to do this over and over, until others take notice, and eventually determining that you’re the right person to reach out to potentially hire.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your work is not for them…

The work that you’ve done, the professional goals you’ve obtained, the projects that you’ve shared, the Salesforce knowledge that you’ve acquired.

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It’s for the others.

But, not for “them”…

And that’s OK.

It doesn’t have to be for just everyone and anyone, but the select few that can have an appreciation for what you can bring to the table.

The others are out there somewhere, either you’ll find them, or they’ll find you.

But you have to keep moving, creating, sharing, expressing, collaborating, connecting, and showing up.

In order to find or to be found…

Keep this stat in mind:

940 people gave J.K. Rowling a 1 star review on Amazon for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Guess what? The book wasn’t for them.

I really doubt it phased her.

She found the others and the others found her (work).

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Writing To Help Extend Your Reach

2 questions to ask:

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What are 5 blog topics you think others would find surprising, insightful, provocative, educational, or useful?

What are 5 blog topics you are tired of reading about?

If everyone is writing about Apples.

Write about Oranges.

Don’t worry about Impostor Syndrome.

Wing it.

We all do, but when you show up, good stuff occasionally follows.

You have ideas to share.

People to teach.

Connections to be made.

Open positions exist that need to be filled by your creativity, experience, intelligence, and generosity.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Hunches and Caveats.

Hunch: an impression that something might be the case; a feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts.

Caveat: a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.

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We all have hunches, as we don’t always have everything we need to provide an answer with 100% certainty. Typically,  our hunches are followed with a caveat, to keep us off the hook.

Referrals or recommendations are often provided using a hunch/caveat combination.

“I have heard, but…”

“I have seen, although…”

“She/he might work, however…”

As you search for your next position, think about how to help influence your network’s hunch about you, while working to reduce the amount of caveat that needs to follow.

Being present, contributing, showing your work, engaging, helping others, etc. should get you going in the right direction.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Exponential connection building

Step 1 – think of 4 quality questions that you want to ask an experienced Salesforce professional. 

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2 of those questions should be:

1. “If you were just starting your Salesforce career today, how would you go about doing so?”

2. “Who do you recommend I connect with from your network that’s helped shaped your career, or could provide quality advice for someone just starting?”

Step 2 – find 3 experienced Salesforce professionals to ask those questions to. 

Be subtle and professional in your approach. “Hi Billy Bob, I realize we haven’t met before, but I noticed that you’ve been working with Salesforce for over 3 years now. As I begin my journey, would it be OK to ask you 4 questions about your career to hopefully help shape mine?”.

Step 3 – Those initial 3 people will give you 3 more people to reach out to. 

At that point, name drop: “Hi Sally Sue, Billy Bob mentioned your name as someone he has a lot of respect for and recommended I connect with you for career guidance…” ask the same questions, you asked Billy Bob.

Step 4 – Repeat the sequence. 3 X 3 X 3 X 3…adds up very quickly.

Step 5 – Log the answers, find the patterns, focus on those.

Step 6 – Keep in touch, provide valuable content, stay top of mind.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Persist until success

In the classic book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino, there’s a chapter/theme called:

“I will persist until I succeed”

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Within this, a couple of passages stick out, that may be relevant to you.

“It is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary to reach my goal. Failure, I may encounter at the 

thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless

I turn the corner”.

and

“I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not

a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence.

Yet, from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble.”

Maybe this helps keep you going…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What industry are you in?

The Salesforce industry?

The tech industry?

The retail, CPG, energy, financial services industry?

The sales, service, marketing, or other cloud product industry?

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Possibly, one of those, but I think that’s secondary.

As a career seeker, your primary industry is:

The Trust Industry

This is the industry where the hiring managers work, where they look and where they believe they’ll find the right individual to do the job.

And unfortunately, I don’t think this industry is always based on resumes alone.

They may have been burnt one too many times just on a resume, resulting in a bad hire.

To help prevent this, they’re looking for recommendations from others, or for an individual to showcase their work, or for their social profile to be well built and to hear what others are saying, or how has that individual provided value to others.

It’s what they can see, latch onto, and investigate further, if they so choose.

Continue to figure out how to effectively work, market and sell yourself in this industry.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Our biggest challenge?

I think: Obscurity

Whether it’s you as a job seeker looking for a position or me as a recruiter looking for a new customer.

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Are the people that need to find you, finding you?

Check out the below numbers using LinkedIn Recruiter.

Salesforce Admin – 13,756

Salesforce Consultant – 11,665

Salesforce Developer – 6,354

Salesforce Architect – 895

These numbers represent the number of Salesforce professionals looking for new opportunities (globally).

If you hold any of these titles, then you’re somewhere in this count.

Maybe you’re in the top third, middle third, or bottom third.

It doesn’t really matter…

The bigger question is, how can YOU be found?

Do you have a strategy in place?

Waiting to get picked out is probably not the best option (or very sustainable).

Fortunately for YOU, that’s what most are doing.

So the question is, what can you do differently?

Hint: It’s probably going to make you uncomfortable, feel a little awkward, uncertain, cause a fear of failure, getting rejected, or get you worried what others might say.

Suggestion: Do that…again, again, and again.

Maybe, I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s much of an alternative…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: are you feeling crabby, cranky, gloomy, sulky, grouchy, or overall down and out?

How about writing an article or creating a post or two?

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I think a sense of community and engaging those that have similar interests, can help during those crusty moods.

While running yesterday, I thought about this…

Some examples:

If you’re a runner, and a fellow runner waves and smiles, maybe it can put an additional pep in your step.

If you’re a motorcycle rider (especially Harleys), and another rider waves, maybe it causes you to hit the throttle a little harder.

If you’re a walker, and a neighbor says hello, maybe you decide to walk another few blocks and enjoy the surroundings.

If you’re a surfer, and a fellow surfer, let’s you take the next wave, maybe it allows you to stay on the board a little longer.

On the virtual side, write and publish some content, tag some in your network to ask for their opinion, maybe it can change the day for you.

An extra dose of feel good endorphins…

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” ~Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The tug…

Between what you want to do in your career and what the job market might be asking you to become.

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Specifically, I’m referring to knowing how to code.

You tried it, you did a few Trailheads, you wrote a “Hello World” program, and 

You hated it…

It just wasn’t you, and you have no desire to continue down that track.

Why bother?

But, maybe, you “grind” through it, and even get certified.

Because the job market has tugged at your shoestrings long enough.

You’ll show “them”…

Then, you land a position that involves writing code.

But weren’t you originally miserable learning it anyway?

Now, are you content, satisfied, fulfilled?

Learning new skills can be rewarding, but learning new skills can also make you miserable if you’re not enjoying the work you’re doing.

The dynamics of…

The tug.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Where are you standing?

In the midst, in the noise, in the chaos, in the stack, in the masses, in the commotion?

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If you’re right in the middle of any of those in your job search, I don’t think that’s where you’re going to find the most success.

It’s way too crowded in there.

So, where is “there” you ask?

Well, to me, there is: Trailhead badges, a certification (or two), sending 5 generic resumes to random positions, and all the other generalities associated.

Let others stand there, but not you.

Your “there” should be where you’re: creating, sharing, building, voicing, connecting, engaging, BEING UNIQUE.

If where you’re currently standing isn’t getting results, guess what you can do?

Stand somewhere else

And if that doesn’t work…

Well, move, and stand, yet, somewhere else.

Continue to look for and find your place to stand.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Salesforce Community User Groups

I’ve seen 1st hand newcomers get hired from our local Houston user group.

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Not by showing up once, twice or thrice (I hate that word, BTW).

Rather, many, many times.

I’m curious to hear if there’s been any newcomers that have shown up consistently for more than say 12-18 months and have not landed a position (of any kind).

I don’t necessarily want this to be a piece of advise that I consistently offer, if it doesn’t hold true a majority of the time (i.e. thrice out of 4 times).

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Salesforce Career Seekers: In times like this, often we, external recruiters, get whacked.

Fortunately, not as severe as being in the mafia.

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Goodfellas…
Benny: We had a problem…
Jimmy: What do you mean?
Benny: You know what I mean.
Henry: Hey Jimmy, what happened?
Jimmy: They whacked him…

When many companies are unsure of what the future holds and are putting significant cost saving structures in place, often using external recruiting services is an expense that faces increased scrutiny.

As you go about searching for your next position, external recruiters may not be your best path forward for direct placement, rather utilize them for other services (resume reviews, their take on the market, bridging a connection to a company, building a relationship for the future, etc.).

This is a generalization to help make sure you’re spending your time wisely.

One other gangsta tip: Never rat on your friends…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Is the hiring manager that you’re interviewing with, a Salesforce Geek?

Geek in a positive, technology driven, enthusiastic way, not necessarily someone who just snorts when they laugh.

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If you’re not sure, you may want to try and do a little research to find out, as more times than not, if they are, they may be asking you some non-traditional questions during the interview.

1. What Salesforce influencers/bloggers/tweeters do you follow and why?

2. What Salesforce acquisitions do you think have been the most strategic?

3. What changes in this past seasonal release do you think will have the most impact to customers?

4. Are you involved in the Salesforce community either online or in person?

5. Are you familiar with the 1-1-1 model?

6. How has Salesforce as a company made an impact on businesses, culture, society, etc.?

7. What do you think of Dreamforce?

8. What’s something that you don’t care for within CRM?

9. Do you use Trailhead, if so, what are some of the paths that spark your interest?

10. Where do you see the future is headed with Salesforce technologies?

I’m sure there’s more, but having some answers rehearsed around these could be beneficial.

Lastly, only snort, if they snort 1st.

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Salesforce Pros: Is now the time to set sail?

As unconventional, naive, or ridiculous as this sounds, maybe now’s the time to make that change that you’ve been thinking about.

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Short story:

When I was full time with consulting partners, the thought of going the independent contractor route crossed my mind many, many times.

But, it never really felt like the right time, and internally I was himming and hawwing: 

too risky to go

I’m comfortable so I’ll stay

why make a change

I’m not good enough

I’ll just wait a little longer

and whatever other justifications and rational thoughts came to mind.

Then 2008 hit and layoffs started to happen, customers put projects on hold, the future was very uncertain.

So I thought, maybe now’s the time.

I mean if I couldn’t make a decision when times were good, then hell, I might as well make one when times are bad.

So I took the plunge, and while my arrogance that I’ll land on my feet overnight was a swift kick to my backside, the decision was made, I was moving forward.

If you’ve been on the fence on making a career decision, maybe now’s the time and the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for…the igniter that you’ve needed.

The waters are choppy now, but you’ll need to set sail, smoother times are on the horizon.

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Salesforce Pros & Newcomers: Opinion on the current job market

While my (list) view of the current Salesforce job market is relatively small, a few thoughts to share:

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Due to the uncertainty, it seems most companies are putting their hiring on hold. The good thing for those that aren’t, is the greater pool of available talent to choose from.

If you’re a Salesforce newcomer, this is an ideal time to ask your connections if there is an opportunity to pick up some volunteer work, particularly if you hear about layoffs happening. Those on the ground are probably overwhelmed with the workload which gives you a chance to get some experience on the lower level tasks they don’t have time for (data analysis, data cleanup, prototyping, etc.). CRM related functions are still happening.

If you’re currently one of those that have more work than hours and have the capacity to offload some of the smaller, maybe mundane, tasks that you think a newcomer could help out with, please do so.

For those that are in caught in the cross-fire, I’m sure you know about the importance of continuing to up-skill.

What better time to dive into understanding how those Apex Triggers work and why Developer Donnie seemed to get all the credit when it comes to building complex Salesforce solutions.

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Slowing down…

Maybe things have slowed down a little for you during this time and you’re not constantly running from one meeting, one call, one hallway conversation, one text, one email, one Slack chat, one Chatter feed to the next all day long.

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How about a little career discovery/self-reflection time?

Science says a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, then a lifetime of deepening will keep you on the right track.

For Discovery, asking yourself:

1. What do I like to think about?

2. Where does my mind wander?

3. What do I really care about?

4. What matters most to me?

5. How do I enjoy spending time?

6. In contrast, what do I find unbearable?

Also some definitions on what you might be looking for:

A job: “I view my job as just a necessity of life”

A career: “I view my job primarily as a stepping stone to other jobs”

A calling: “My work is one of the most important things in my life”

Reference: Grit by Angela Duckworth

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Expecting versus Accepting

Before an interview, are you expecting an outcome to be favorable or rather accepting the decision no matter what?

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There are so many variables at play when it comes to interviews and the outcome is unpredictable, would accepting before starting be easier on your emotional well being?

Particularity, because you’re not the one making the decision and although you might have felt it went well, those on the receiving end might have felt otherwise, or maybe they decided to put the position on hold, or received an internal referral, or promoted within.

All areas out of your direct control.

You did your best at the time, and even if you didn’t, the conversation has ended.

When we expect a specific outcome, if we don’t get it, we’re usually disappointment.

Being disappointed in someone else’s action or decision can be a monkey on our back that we don’t want or need.

I’m not suggesting for you to agree with the outcome, but by accepting it allows you to take ownership, understand, embrace and take what you can from the situation as it unfolds.

When it comes to interviews, plan for victory, and learn from defeat.

Then if you succeed, celebrate and if you fail, re-calibrate.

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Salesforce 1st Time Career Seekers: Impossible

Is landing your 1st Salesforce position considered impossible?

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Impossible is an intriguing word meaning incapable of being true.

While there are some things that are considered impossible (e.g. changing the past), I don’t think landing your 1st Salesforce position can be one of them.

Maybe: Difficult, hard, frustrating, aggravating, challenging, annoying, disappointing and plenty of other verbs/adverbs.

But impossible?

Or asked another way, how can you prove it’s really impossible, can’t there always be one more attempt to make something possible?

Same concept can be applied to almost everything that we do…

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Salesforce Professionals – Your work environment…

Is your current environment bringing out the best in you?

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Maybe you feel like no one really cares, or they don’t have the same passion, drive or grit that you know you have.

Are you surrounded by the type of people and leadership to help you and those around you grow?

It’s often said, your environment has the greatest influence in your success.

I’d suggest not to think:

“Just one more week, one more month, one more year, things might change.”

or

“As soon as:

so and so leaves

we move offices

I can work remote more often

we have a new round of funding

new leadership comes on board”

Sure, that might cause some changes for the better, but it will probably take time and won’t be the cure all solution.

Rather, why wait?

I know, change is hard, but being stuck is not any better.

“If you don’t like where you are, change it, you are not a tree.” ~Jim Rohn

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Salesforce Newcomers: How are you standing out among your peers?

In addition to showcasing some of your work, how about publishing a few articles or videos and then have them as part of your extracurriculars on your resume.

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Here’s some ideas:

  • A weekly set of questions/problems and answers that were posted on https://lnkd.in/eSAxn9E and why you thought they were important..
  • The top 3 Salesforce bloggers you enjoy reading about and what were some key takeaways they’ve shared.
  • Some of the recent Salesforce acquisitions, the facts about them, why Salesforce thought they were a good purchase and how that can change the CRM landscape.
  • A review of the seasonal release notes and which will make the biggest impact to Sales, Marketing, Admins, Devs, etc.
  • The top 5 trailheads that you found the most useful to a Salesforce newcomer and why.
  • A review on some of the AppExchange apps that you’ve installed and your assessment of those on why those are helpful.

A good quote to think about:
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible” ~ Seth Godin (Marketer and Author)

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Salesforce Career Newcomers: Below are some thoughts and important questions I believe are important to ask yourself (or to ask someone else for help), if you’re considering down a new career in Salesforce.

1. Do I need an advantage(s) when compared to others to have success? If so, what are they? Talent, effort, education, background, personality, connections, all, none.

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2. How likely am I to succeed? Why do I feel that way?

3. How significant is the payoff?

4. Is there an opportunity cost? Could/Should I be doing something else with my time? If so, what?

5. Do I have the right support system and encouragement to succeed? Are they actually helping or just blowing smoke?

6. Will I learn something about myself if I fail? Can I apply those lessons elsewhere?

7. When should I decide on a different path? Do I/Should I put a hard date in place? Am I starting to feel the financial pinch?

8. Will I be happy if I succeed? If so, why?

9. Am I utilizing my time as effectively as I should towards this path? If not, what else should I be doing instead?

10. Do I feel any momentum whatsoever or am I just consistently treading water?

These are not intended to discourage, but they are meant to be real, to try and help ensure you understand the landscape and personal well-being.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How do you receive constructive feedback?

Does it bruise your ego?

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Does it imply you were wrong and they were right?

Does it make you upset or distraught?

If so, maybe you can think about it differently…

It’s a GIFT.

To provide you better direction.

To give you more guidance.

To show you what’s needed to succeed.

To help you understand what’s important.

And it’s up to you to decide how to take it and make adjustments.

Rather than being upset, thank them that they took the time and energy to provide feedback as they’re helping, guiding and actually caring to make you better.

While this is an unnatural feeling, by taking a sense of gratitude to the individual or group providing you the message can be a game-changer in how you deal with constructive feedback, flopped interviews, discrepancies of opinion, etc.

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Chris, where should I go next?

To a big or small consulting company.

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The last few weeks I was asked for my point of view on going to a smaller versus a larger Salesforce consulting company as they were getting offers from both.

While I have my own personal biases based on the previous decisions I’ve made and where it led me, and there is no one right answer, as it really depends on where you are in your career and what you’re looking for.

But, if you’re indifferent, my suggestion: Go Big.

Often, the biggest players get the gnarliest implementations/transformations, have the toughest customers to satisfy, have more politics at play, work the longest hours, have more administrative overhead, and can cause more stress.

“That’s dumb Chris, why would I want to put myself through that?”

Answer: Exposure.

If you’re in the earlier stages of your career, being exposed to as much as you can early on, helps in determining what you want or don’t want for your future.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: “If I had only”

How many times have we said or thought this?

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After the interview…

If I had only:

– Gotten up earlier

– Left on time

– Prepared better

– Wrote it down

– Understood how

– Researched more

– Shook hands firmly

– Answered more thoroughly

– Shown more confidence

– Showered

– Remembered their name(s)

– Not gotten so flustered

– Tripped over my words

– Sat up straighter

– Talked with my mouth full

– Said “I don’t know” instead of BS’ing

– Ironed my suit

– Interrupted

– Looked them in the eye

– Spit out my gum

– Shown my work

– Asked more intelligent questions

– Thanked them

Well, we didn’t, we tried, we forgot, we got distracted, we came up short.

It’s over: 

– Reflect briefly

– Go for a walk 

– Eat a cheeseburger

– Watch a Seinfeld rerun

– Have “A” cocktail

– Talk to someone

– Write it down 

– Get it out 

You’re fortunate to have tomorrow, and the opportunity to go at it again.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose” (Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th POTUS)

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The Salesforce Career Paradox (which can probably apply to most fields):

Entry Level Job Seekers: no choices (struggle to get their 1st position).

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Mid Level Job Seekers: too many choices (struggle to be able to decide which position to take next).

Senior Level Job Seekers: the right choice (struggle to find a position that can actually propel their career to the next level).

And while one category may seem like a “better” problem to have, as you’re not in it, each one has it’s own respective challenges that we go through.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Long term benefits of working for a consulting company.

You’re probably not always at a point to be too selective in all your career choices, but if you have a chance to work for a major, established, well-known consulting company and understand some of the nuances that come with it:

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travel, extra hours, difficult clients, metrics, driven management, egos, continuously being pushed out of your comfort zone, asked to take on more work, small fish in a big pond environment, etc. and can grind it out for a few years, please do.

As I meet with companies (industry and consulting), they often ask for this background for their next hire, as they were once there and can relate: “Oh, you worked at X, me too, let’s chat”.

It has benefited me in my career, although it often sucked at the time, being on conference calls on a Friday night or prepping for a go-live over a holiday break, it’s opened up future conversations and opportunities that I might not otherwise would have had.

It’s not for everyone, but might be something you’d like to think about trying as you continue down your career path.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Transferable Systems Skills

A good story on being smarter than the recruiting systems.

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Often applicant tracking systems spit out resumes without specific keywords being recognized and while I’m not suggesting to lie on a resume, I do suggest to take what’s available and apply it.

Over the past few weeks, Bhavana Patel, CSM and I were discussing how she could take her other non-Salesforce experiences and skills and relate it to what a Salesforce Admin’s responsibilities would be.

Intelligently, she took the relatable keywords and phrases from the below admin training description and ensured her resume accounted for those that were applicable based on other systems she has worked on:

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/academy/classes/adm201-administration-essentials-for-new-admins/

Keywords such as: Data, Formulas, Reports, Records, Logins, Access, Permissions, Configure, User Interface, Troubleshoot, Exceptions, Collaboration, Automation, etc.

I think it was a valuable exercise and if you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, you may want to cross reference your resume.

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt, 26th POTUS

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Previous Salesforce Career Seekers: Did you decide to quit?

In your initial pursuit of a career transition doing Salesforce work?

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Or even when you landed something and decided to eventually pivot out.

And more importantly, are you happy in whatever work that you’re now doing?

If so, I’d/We’d love to hear from you.

While I enjoy thinking and writing about Salesforce careers and will continue to do so, I think it’s equally important to discuss alternative paths to overall career success, enjoyment and fulfillment.

Particularly, when we seem to be consistently hit over the head with: Salesforce This, Trailhead That, Admin This, Certifications That, Community This, Opportunity That…the list goes on.

There are alternatives and I think perspective can help.

Maybe, I’ll come up with a short questionnaire to publish for those I hear from that decided that Salesforce wasn’t for them.

This post was inspired by a fitting quote I read today:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…then give up. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” ~W.C. Fields (American Comedian and Writer)

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“Why are you looking to make a change?”

“That’s none of your beeswacks, Chris.”

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I asked this question this week when speaking with a candidate who’s currently employed.

She delightfully answered and didn’t say the above.

Then I thought about it some more, and whether the question was really any of my business.

If it was being asked to me, I might question as why it really matters.

In this case, I wanted to make sure the position we’re discussing is not more of the same of what the individual DOESN’T want.

Often a job description only goes so deep, so we often need to dig a little deeper.

This then allows us to add those notes on the submission to either proceed or end the process.

Feel free to ask the recruiters you work with, “why do you ask?” if you feel uncomfortable with the questions being asked.

The question on current salary is probably one you’re thinking, which often company’s ask us to request, which we should also have an answer as to why.

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Learn from those who came before you.
Cartoonist Bob Mankoff’s, most reprinted cartoon in the New Yorker magazine history.

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Robert Mankoff, a former cartoonist for the New Yorker, had a strong desire to be employed by the New Yorker, but had quite the uphill battle to get that opportunity. The New Yorker receives thousands of cartoons a week, and their acceptance rate is close to 0, but he knew if he could make that team, he would be considered one of the best.

For 3 years and after more than two thousand rejections, he said in an interview that he received enough rejection slips to wallpaper his bathroom. 

As Bob was getting frustrated, he realized that the adage of “try, try again was not working”, so he decided to take a different approach. He went to the New York Public Library and looked up all the previous cartoons that had been published in the New Yorker since 1925.

He analyzed the cartoon captions for length and the type of humor that was presented to see if he could find some missing element that he wasn’t presenting that was, in essence, causing all the rejections. After not being able to easily understand that missing link, it hit him, as he then realized that all the cartoons had one thing in common: 

They made the reader think.

And the cartoonists used their own personal drawing style to achieve that. Furthermore, there was no single, “best” style, as many variations were picked over the years.

Finally, Bob revised his approach to be more in-line with what would be accepted causing the viewer to think about the drawing, as well as adopting his own dot style of drawing (called Stippling).

With his revised approach, he drew the below cartoon, which was the first to be accepted by the New Yorker.

The next year, he sold 13 cartoons to the New Yorker, then 25 the following year, then was asked to become a full-time cartoonist.

While we often hear the saying, “success leaves clues”, I think this story is a great example of that. Although, discovering what “worked” wasn’t easily recognizable, Bob took his own approach to figure out how to get better by studying the history of those who “made it”.

If you’re currently going down the Salesforce career path and not sure how to achieve the success that you’re desiring, take a look at those who came before you, talk to them, research their background, ask intelligent questions, look for similarities that you can latch onto. Sure, everyone’s journey may be slightly different, but I think you’ll find patterns that have led to their success which you can also take into consideration to help you in yours.

Article inspired by a chapter on Robert Mankoff from the book Grit by Angela Duckworth

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Salary Negotiations

Maybe there’s a middle…

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Or rather an intermediate in this context.

I was asked to conduct a mock interview yesterday as part of the Salesforce mentor-ship program.

One of the topics we discussed was salary negotiations.

I believe it’s always more art than science, as there’s many variables that come into play when it comes to salary and only you can determine what “works” for you.

But maybe there’s a middle…

If a potential employer makes an offer that is a little less than what you’re expecting and they’re not budging.

Rather than declining the position all together and assuming that you’re really interested, express that, and ask if there are any options to accelerate you receiving a raise within 3-6 months of proving yourself.

Some companies have the flexibility to do this and it can potentially keep the conversation moving forward.

Obviously, there has to be some trust that they’ll come through, but it would get your foot in the door and help you gain some additional experience.

Don’t end the conversation entirely, think about if there’s a middle.

“Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle? I’m losing my mind just a little” ~Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – The Middle

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Do you feel like it’s cheating?

When you decide to look for new opportunities while you’re currently employed…

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Do you question your dignity, your pride, your loyalty, your trust?

Does it create anxiety, stress or guilt?

You might be worried that word gets out and your current employer or colleagues could find out.

Then what? Will you instantly be “let go”?

These are all natural tendencies we have.

There are reasons why you decided to start your search.

Use those reasons to help propel you forward.

You don’t have to blast your resume to the world if you’re concerned.

Play it safer, start with just having a few conversations with those you trust to get the word out.

It’s your career and your future.

Sitting still won’t get you any closer.

You’re not a cheater…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Candidate/Employer Tension

I think we’ll continue to see this tension get tighter and tighter.

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You may be experiencing the same thing.

As more newly certified Salesforce career seekers come in to the job market, employers respond by adding another layer of qualifications.

And when barriers to entry to get into a new field are low (and relatively free), the ability to actually secure a position in said field gets harder and more challenging (although, not impossible).

If you’re venturing into a new career into Salesforce, I believe the more marketing that Salesforce does around job growth and the availability of additional jobs (how many are truly entry level?), the more tension employers will create to pull in the opposite direction causing the qualification bar to continue to rise.

Supply, demand, scarcity, abundance, wages, all of these weigh into the economic labor market equation.

I (and many others) will continue to think of ideas to encourage and help differentiate yourself from the masses with your creativity being the key differentiator, but please be aware of the candidate/employer tension that lies ahead.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Getting Help

In general, I believe your peers want to help you, especially if they see that you’re struggling.

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But, they need to “see” that you’re struggling and what you’ve done already, not just hear about your sob story about getting certs, badges and no interviews.

Over the weekend, I was working on my swimming and there is a guy in the pool who I often see.

He’s a good, experienced swimmer, I’m not.

After our swim session, he says, “hey, you should get some goggles, they’ll help you tremendously”.

We had never spoken before and it opened up some additional conversation.

I think this happened for a few reasons:

1. He’d seen me there at least 4-5 times before. (my consistency)

2. He was good at something, had been doing it for awhile, and wanted to help others/me. (his generosity)

3. He saw that I was putting a valid attempt in to get better (my effort).

If you’re not getting the additional help that you feel you need, think about if there’s other things that you can do to show others your consistency and effort.

It will often lead to the generosity of others.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You control one thing.

Your effort.

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You don’t control:

if you get passed over.

if the recruiter ghosts you.

if the company cancels on you.

if someone on the team doesn’t care for you.

if you don’t get any feedback after an interview.

if the company drags their feed in making a decision.

if the offer is extremely lower than what you’re expecting.

Yes, all those things suck and shouldn’t happen, but they do.

Understanding that those annoyances you can’t control, and focusing on what you can control, is very important as you continue your journey.

Or maybe to put it another way, as the American rapper/producer/entrepreneur Sean John Combs/Puff Daddy/Puffy/P.Diddy/Diddy says:
“Can’t nobody take your pride, can’t nobody hold you down,
oh no, you got to keep on movin”

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Thinking of going the independent contractor route?

I would suggest to go for it, try it, see if you like it, you could always go back to full time if it doesn’t work out.

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IMO, I would not suggest it if you don’t have at least around 8+ years of solid experience first (ideally from consulting, or have a technical background, or a niche skil-set).

It may be a little rough getting your 1st gig, and you may hit some lulls along the way, but if you could use some independence in the work and projects you decide to do, maybe this is it.

2 good conversations I had with independents this past week:

Salesforce Architect – “Chris, I’m taking the month of May off to go hiking and will not be available”.

Pardot Consultant – “Chris, I’m currently working from Bali so only available for remote projects”.

That’s nice – they have the ability to depict how they spend their time, and it works for them…

If you’re not sure, post your resume to Dice (while still working), see what happens, it might be the calling you were meant to pursue.

Just step on the gas, don’t get stuck in the mud.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Why This Path?

If you’re currently on or are thinking about pursuing a career as a Salesforce professional, why is that?

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Is it strictly for the tangibles (salary, prosperity, longevity, culture, etc.)?

Once you land something, will you be satisfied?

Or asked a different way:

At this moment, do you truly enjoy being overwhelmed with the setbacks, the studying, the denial of opportunities, the bruised ego?

With the realization that it’s all a part of the path forward?

If so, great, because here’s the thing:

The obstacles won’t stop, once you land a position.

You’ll continue:

to struggle to keep your head above water with information overload

to want to throw your laptop out the window when you can’t solve a problem

to be pushed (often by an annoying manager)

to deal with stakeholders and users with unrealistic expectations

to get denied that raise, that promotion, that project, etc.

A career in Salesforce (like any other career choice) is not all sunshine and rainbows (regardless of what Salesforce marketing shows).

The tangibles might be nice, but I don’t believe it will compensate for your personal job satisfaction over the long run.

Enjoy the path forward along with the twists, turns, potholes, and dead-ends that come with it.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: “You Don’t Have To Pay Me, Just Give Me Something Real”

These were the words of Bill Bilichick, coach of the New England Patriots NFL Team, when he was applying for his 1st football coaching position.

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I realize the Patriots are not in the Superbowl this year, but I thought his story is still inspiring since today is Superbowl Sunday for the U.S..

When Bill finished college, he mailed out 250 letters asking for some type of position as a coach.

No response.

Then, the Baltimore Colts needed a cheap film guy to study the games, provide notes, collect the playbooks from players who were cut, and to run
random errands.

The coaching staff determined during the interview that he had the passion to succeed and hired him.

Since 1979, he’s considered one of the greatest NFL coaches of all times, winning 8 Super Bowls as either a head coach with New England or a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants.

While I’m not saying working for free is the right choice for you, if you have only applied to 3 positions, or you’re not being creative in figuring out ways to
get your foot in the door, hopefully the above story will help.

Go San Francisco Chiefs!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your January

How did you do?

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Did you hit the new year running like you had planned back in December?

Maybe not.

Maybe you hit some unexpected obstacles.

Maybe you let some distractions tilt you off course.

Maybe you didn’t get the call back for the interview that you were hoping for.

Maybe you didn’t pass that certification exam that you prepared intensely for.

Maybe you went through 3 interviews and then didn’t get offered the position.

Maybe the offer that was presented just didn’t feel right, so you declined.

Maybe you started something new, and quickly realized it wasn’t for you (or the company decided that for you).

Maybe you got bruised, torn, cut or upset along the way.

Guess what you have the chance to do?

Begin your February!

How exciting! Another month to move forward.

Rip January off the calendar, it’s come and gone.

Reflect briefly, then get back at it.

You have the fantastic opportunity to go another round.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Restating The Obvious To Help You Standout

How about using the job description of the position you’re applying for to be the focus of your objective on your resume?

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For example (Salesforce Admin position I found from LI):

Responsibilities include:

-Interviewing stakeholders to understand needs and outlining solutions in Salesforce

-Creating and/or testing automation processes

-Manipulating data

-Working with the development team and assisting in their functionality testing

-Assisting in end-user training

-A background in innovation, problem-solving, data management

-Self-starter who is highly motivated and resourceful.

Suggestion for your objective:

“A highly motivated, resourceful and aspiring Salesforce Administrator with a background in innovation and problem solving with a strong emphasis on interviewing stakeholders to understand requirements, specific to Sales and Service clouds. Specialties include: workflow automation, data manipulation, end user training and testing, while working directly with the technical development team to help achieve greater success for XYZ company.”

Specifically, state the company to make it personal.

I think this approach is much better than: “Using my skills and experience to help a company achieve success.”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Blockbuster Model

About 20 years ago, Blockbuster offered a “try before you buy” approach.

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They allowed a customer to listen to a CD (yes, CD’s as in Compact Discs) before making a purchase.

It was a great model, as a customer could gain more clarity on what they were buying.

This model is applied to most services and products online now (streaming, shareware, etc.).

Sometime it’s just a sample, but enough to spark an interest.

Maybe this same approach can work for you.

By building out example Salesforce projects and solutions for potential employers to view and sample.

Providing a glimpse of what you can do, what you’ve learned, and how you’ve applied it.

It may lead to a phone call, an email inquiry, an interview and ultimately a job offer.

Companies often have resistance to making a hiring decision, so allow your work (not your resume alone) speak for itself and reduce their hiring reluctance.

You have a best-selling Top 40 hit to offer.

Potential employers need and want to listen, see, and experience it.

Create your hit!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Significance of Patterns

Patterns are used to solve problems.

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They help in reusability, maintainability, and performance.

Not just Apex, Integration or Error Handling.

How about the interview patterns you face?

Would you say most follow a series of patterns with the questions that are asked?

Functional, Situational, Technical, Personal, etc.

Continue to get comfortable with those.

Use those patterns to your advantage.

Occassionally, an exception is thrown, can you rely on a how you tackled a similar situation using the same type of pattern (technique)?

The significance of patterns…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Work (no one else’s)

In the mornings, at the gym, there’s a guy who is in his lower 60’s and in pretty good shape.

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Every few weeks, I tend to see him with a different workout partner.

For only about a day or two.

Then he’s by himself, again.

This has happened at least 5 times over the last 6 months or so.

So I asked him, “What’s happening to all your workout partners?”

His answer: “I’m here, I’m putting in the work, if they show, they show, if they don’t, they don’t”

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Please don’t get so wrapped up in what others are doing, the success they may or may not be having, as the work that you’re doing is all that matters.

Keep it simple…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Don’t stay in neutral

Neutral: Scrolling, reading and just liking content is not the gear you want to be on LinkedIn.

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You won’t go anywhere and may even start rolling backwards.

Start shifting those gears…

You never know who may be paying attention to what you’re saying, doing, contributing or engaging with/on.

Take your foot off the clutch and let the world and possible employers see that you’re moving forward.

Have no fear, an opportunity is near, just get your rear, in 1st gear.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Strengths or Weaknesses

One challenge I think we often have is, where do we focus our time and energy when it comes to our skills and inherent abilities.

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Do we work on identifying and improving our weaknesses or continue to zone in, refine and further build upon our existing strengths?

We see this being asked when it comes to what our next Salesforce certification should be or where should I go next in my career.

I don’t believe there is one perfect answer, but as long as we’re moving forward, rather than backward or staying stagnant in our current work, we’re headed in the right direction.

This thought conceived when I was doggy paddling in the gym pool yesterday attempting to swim when I’m traditionally a runner.

Keep moving forward, with or without swim floaties…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Be Quick To The Point

Or rather, be the 1st to respond.

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To have a better shot at a new opportunity.

Recruiters often stick and move all day long.

Usually, the 1st qualified applicant that responds starts the conversation and possibly the submission process.

Sure, you might get ghosted, ignored, and whatever else, you can’t control that.

Control what you can control, which is your promptness.

Maybe some Vanilla Ice lyrics will help:

“Quick to the point to the point no faking

You’re cooking those recruiters like a pound of bacon”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Cover Letters

I was asked to review a cover letter last week, which I don’t do that often, but glad I did to share some ideas:

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* Make it as specific as possible, not just one version and change out the company and job title.

* Share your knowledge on what you’ve learned about the company’s goals, accomplishments and accolades or the industries and customers they serve, and the expertise and value proposition they offer.

* Specify why you’re interested as it directly relates to them and their mission. Possibly use wording and phrases that they’ve already used in their marketing material without going overboard.

* Take the top 3 requirements of the position and speak directly to how you have met those (provide examples or links to work if you can).

* Be less “you” and more “them” to speak to how they can accomplish greater success with having you on board (again based on your previous track record).

All this with the goal of being concrete, succinct and interesting, as you have about 5 seconds of their attention.

Or to summarize it nicely, as the motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, often said: “Be a meaningful specific, rather than a wandering generality.”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The “right” connections and conversations

Are you spending your time connecting and speaking with those that can get you a little closer to your 1st opportunity or are you reaching out to everyone and anyone that has Salesforce somewhere tied to their title/LI Profile?

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A few thoughts:

1. Many companies do not use external recruiters, those that do, are looking for those they cannot find themselves, typically that’s the needle in the haystack, you know the all in one: “Admineveloperarchitectbusinessanalysttrainertesteroperationalstrategist”

2. Companies that are looking to fill entry level positions will often use their own network, alumni programs and internal connections and referrals to find someone.

3. Salesforce recruiters are everywhere (or so it seems), most do the majority of their work in their respective geographical region where they have the closest relationships with companies. The odds that a recruiter located in Chicago will have a direct opportunity in Jackson, Mississippi where you live, is pretty slim (although they might have a colleague managing that region based on size).

While you never know where one conversation will lead, please make sure that you’re using your time and outreach approach effectively in your pursuit.

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Experienced Salesforce Professionals: New Year, New Possibilities?

Almost 2 weeks into 2020 and I have been asked to review and provide my opinion on more resumes than usual.

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Maybe it’s just that time of the year…

The question is: is there anything holding you back?

If you’re unsure on what you want to do, or where you want to go, maybe dip your toe in the water, it may be ice cold, lukewarm or boiling hot, but you’ll need to take off your stilettos and penny loafers, to find out.

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” ~Seneca (Roman Stoic Philosopher)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You Can’t Walk Your Way Off The Island

Huh?

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This statement is an adage that is embraced in Latin America for up and coming baseball players who have dreams to make it to major league baseball.

Which means, they needed to swing hard and often…taking a base on balls isn’t enough.

As Roberto Clemente (Hall of Fame Hitter) once said (paraphrased): “Outside, inside, ankle high, at the head, it doesn’t matter, we’re swinging.”

I think this is the same approach you should have as you continue your Salesforce career search.

Take every conversation, every interview, every opportunity, every pitch, to swing your way into your 1st position.

100% on-site, help-desk, part-time, data cleansing, evenings, weekends, a lower than desired wage, lack of benefits, 1 hour commute by bus, train, walking, relocating, sweeping floors 70% of the time and Salesforce related work 30%

Any and every pitch that’s thrown your way.

If you’re not swinging at them all, someone else is…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Inspiring and Motivational Quotes to Share

While some of us are internally motivated, I think many of us want or could use a little help to get us through the occasional troubling times that we’re currently facing or might experience in the future.

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Below are a list of quotes (some slightly improvised) from Jim Rohn, who’s considered America’s foremost business philosopher who wrote the book: “The Treasury Of Quotes”, where I chose the top ones that I felt might be the most helpful for you.

Movement/Activity/Labor:  🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

·      You must act, God said, “if you don’t move, I don’t move”.

·      The few who do are the envy of the many that watch.

Basics/Fundamentals: 🧮

·      Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day. Failure is simply a few errors in judgement repeated every day. 

Career/Marketplace: 💻

·      We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. It takes time to bring value, we get paid for the value, not the time.

·      Where you are currently, is not where you have to stay.

·      The worst days of those who enjoy what they do are better than the best days of those who don’t.

·      You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

Communication: 💬

·      Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% in how you feel about what you know.

·      Communication is the ability to affect other people with words.

Desire/Motivation: 🙌

·      Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate them, now you have a motivated idiot.

Education/Learning: 📚

·      Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

Sharing Your Work:  ✌️

·      Nothing teaches character better than generosity

Goal Setting: 🥅

·      The value obtaining a goal makes out of you will always outweigh the goal itself.

Happiness: 😊

·      Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.

·      Happiness is the art of learning how to get joy from your substance.

Health: 🧑‍⚕️

·      Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you.

·      Take good care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.

Influence/Association:  🤼

·      You must constantly ask yourself: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking Most importantly: What do they have me becoming and is that okay?

·      Some people you can afford to spend a few minutes with, but not a few hours.

Journals: 📒

·      Don’t use your mind for a filing cabinet. Use your mind to work out problems and find answers; file away those good ideas in a journal.

Leadership/Management: 👑

·      Be strong, not rude; Be kind, but not weak; Be bold, but not a bully; Be thoughtful, but not lazy; Be humble, but not timid; Be proud, but not arrogant; Be humorous, but not insulting

·      Start with where people are before you try to take them where you want them to go.

·      Lead the way by personal example.

·      Managers help people to see themselves as they are. Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are.

Personal Development: 📖

·      How long should you try? Until.

·      What you become directly influences what you get.

·      The most important question to ask on the job is not: “What am I getting?”, rather “What am I becoming?”

·      It’s not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts.

·      Your paycheck is your responsibility not your employers. Your employer has no control over your value, but you do.

·      You should do more than what you get paid for, as that’s where the fortune lives.

Problem Solving: ➕➗➖

·      To solve any problem, here are 3 questions to ask yourself: What could I try? What could I read? Who could I ask?

·      The best place to solve a problem is on paper.

Time Management: ⌛

·      Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it.

·      Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy.

Hopefully, some of these made an impact for you as you continue down your Salesforce career journey.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Please check out this video!

By Stephen Church, Salesforce Administrator, as this is one of the best that I’ve seen.

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In ~11 minutes, it highlights:

* His approach to landing his 1st Salesforce position

* How he stood out with creativity

* His understanding and awareness that he did not have any hands-on experience and what to do about it by creating a custom application

* How he identified what most employers are looking for in an Admin and how to build a solution that included a data model, page layouts, security, automation and other features

* The use of diagrams, videos and screenshots (using simplicity)

* Identifying future enhancements to have an agile, continuous improvement mindset

* And many other valuable lessons

While this process is not the end all, be all, I strongly believe the work he put into this, helped him lead the field and land his 1st opportunity.

YOU can definitely do the same.

Thank you to Andy Davidson, MBA, for introducing me to Stephen and the excellent job Stephen did putting this together, along with the opportunity for me to share it with others.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19JNi4I5KNYCKsM3XGryxeCmnAMYG9M3s/view

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Few Lessons from Misters Rogers’ Neighborhood

In learning a little more about the symbolism that was provided to us in the children’s television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that lasted over 30 seasons, 900 episodes, from 1968 to 2001 winning multiple Emmy’s, I believe there’s a few lessons that might apply to your Salesforce Career Journey.

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Blinking Yellow Stoplight = Slowing Down

In the beginning of every episode a stoplight is shown, blinking yellow.  As we deal with constant digital interruptions and always being on the “go” moving from one task to another, Mr. Rogers wanted to help enforce the need to slow down and take time to think for ourselves. Rather than always working on your next certification or that next Salesforce badge, slow down and think about creative ways to help you either advance your Salesforce career or to land your 1st Salesforce position. 

Maybe each morning, spending 10-15 minutes to write some creative ideas down to try, these ideas are unique to you. Rather than using specifically what a Trailhead or any other blog might suggest, trying using these as an initial guide but then come up with your own creative solution/approach.

Egg Timer = Focusing On The Task At Hand

In one episode, Mr. Rogers would cook an egg, timing it for 60 seconds in silence to show his audience how long 1 minute is, as well as how to be quiet and still during that time. This quiet time and focus helps prevent any outside distractions from interfering with what you’re currently working on. It could be an egg timer for 1 minute or a stopwatch for 30 minutes, it’s the ability to tune out emails, text messages or phone calls that will allow deeper focus on your current work.

Look For The Helpers = Mr. Rogers Would Turn To His Neighbors For Help

Whether it’s the postman, the policeman, the milkman or anyone else that was in his neighborhood, he would have them be a part of his show to teach his audience new things while carrying on an interesting and informative conversation about a specific topic.  In your Salesforce career search, are you turning to others to help you? While there’s plenty of information written already on various Salesforce topics, connecting with others and having a meaningful conversation to look for help and guidance can be a powerful process in your Salesforce career progression.

There’s many more lessons from this hit show, these were a few that seemed to have relevancy to your Salesforce career. Lastly, as he closed every episode, he told his audience:

“You’ve made this day a special day, by just you being you”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You Control How You Show Up

In the spirit of the NFL playoffs and the controversial call (or lack thereof) between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, that some may say cost the Saints the game, the refs not making the correct call was out of the players, coaches, owners, and fans control.

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For you as a Salesforce Career Seeker, you not being offered the position after the interview is also out of your control.

What is in your control is how you show up and present yourself.

Were you as prepared as you could have been?

Were you on-time or even early?

Did you articulate answers to questions as thoroughly as you could and show humility on those you could not?

Were you able to present confidence and exuberance without coming across as egotistical?

Did you do more listening than talking, and not cut anyone off mid-sentence?

Did you thank them for their time even if you didn’t get the position with long-term relationship building in mind?

The Saints will try again next season and you’ll have your next interview sooner than that…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Some Good Success Verbs for Your Resume (and a few other ideas)
  • Accelerated
  • Achieved
  • Contributed
  • Delivered
  • Eliminated
  • Exceeded
  • Grew
  • Improved
  • Maximized
  • Optimized
  • Produced
  • Sold
  • Streamlined

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  • Add a numerical accomplishment if you can. $, %, Time/Money Saved, Processes Eliminated, etc.
  • As you review your resume accomplishments, craft it to persuade an employer to hire you based on the benefits you have delivered. Even read them out loud saying: “You should hire me for this position because I…”
  • Your resume doesn’t just relay what you’ve already accomplished, but rather to help an employer envision what you can do in the future.

More context on this subject can be found here:
https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/the-ceo-of-ladders-reveals-surprising secret-of-crafting-a-winning-resume-that-will-get-you-your-next-job.html

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Providing A Reason to Listen

Below is a quote that I think is relevant to your career search:

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“You cannot sell to someone who isn’t listening; word of mouth is the best medium of all; and dullness won’t sell your product/service, but neither will irrelevant brilliance.” ~Bill Bernbach (Pioneered creative advertising for Volkswagen – Think Small, Avis – We Try Harder, Life Cereal – Mikey Likes It)

Questions to think about from this quote:

1. How are you getting a hiring manager or HR to listen? It probably won’t be by yelling or pestering the same message: “Pick me” more or louder.

2. How are you using and amplifying the medium of word of mouth to get you a little closer to an interview? Can you be referred in, are you building relevant relationships through networking?

3. How are you helping to ensure your message is not “dull”? Dull may also mean the same message as everyone else.

4. How is your brilliance relevant to where you’re applying or who you’re interviewing with? You have brilliance, but having a one size fits all resume as your only credential is not it.

Hope these ideas help as you strategize your career search this year.

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Experiencing Cold, Gloomy Winters In Your Salesforce Career Search?

In the U.S., we just hit the official season of winter, and for many of us, that brings the colder weather, gloomier days, along with the potential for a little less motivation to do the things we want/need to do in our Salesforce career search journey.

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If we relate the winter months to your career search and maybe you’re hitting some cold, windy, icy, overcast days without much sun (new opportunities) in the forecast, causing you to feel a little down and unmotivated. Especially, when you’re not getting a call back after the interview or receiving any responses after submitting your resume for a position that seems to be the perfect match for you.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~Anne Bradstreet (1st Puritan English Poet)

If this is the case for you and you’re hitting the winter season, remember that for the last 6000 years of recorded history, spring follows winter, which means brighter, warmer, sunnier days lie ahead.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” ~Hal Borland (American Author, Journalist and Naturalist)

It’s during these winter months where our tolerance is tested and patience to persevere matters the most and this is the time to double down on your career search efforts when others may not “be in the mood” to do so, leaving you at a distinct advantage.

“Winter forms our character and brings out our best.” ~ Tom Allen (American Politician and Author)

If we decide to neglect today’s undesirable climate and corresponding gloomy mood for a better, more appealing tomorrow, once the warmer weather is finally here, we might not be as prepared as we should/could have been. Therefore, the act of planning, executing and having the confidence now, so when spring arrives, the possibilities of new career opportunities can be made available to you.

“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” ~Pietro Aretino (Italian Playwright, Poet, Author)

The Winter Season In Your Salesforce Career Search

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Salesforce Career Seekers: For 2020…

If you’re looking for an idea (or New Years Resolution) for 2020, how about:

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Allowing yourself to get slightly more uncomfortable with your career search.

Being uncomfortable means something different to each of us, but whatever you did for 2019, can you add another step to the process to see if better results can be obtained?

Some suggestions:

* Write that/those article(s) that you’ve been thinking about but haven’t executed on.

* Build and display those apps that will show your creative side.

* Reach out (leave voicemails) to hiring managers/internal recruiters after applying for a position.

* Follow up on a position until you hear the final decision.

* Ask a local Salesforce professional out for coffee or lunch to build a new relationship.

* Collaborate with others on your job search asking for engagement and opinions.

* Ask another Salesforce career seeker to team up on a project together to hold each other accountable.

* Find an opportunity where you can bring out your inner leadership capabilities.

The list goes on…

“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do…” ~Seth Godin (American author, blogger, marketer)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Write It Down

You’re never going into an interview empty handed, right?! but are you also leaving the interview without anything new written down?

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Suggestion: before the interview, make a mental note to write a few keywords that are being asked/discussed during the interview, hopefully without interrupting the flow.

I believe this shows that you are engaged in the conversation, you stand out, as well as showing your studious side.

After the interview is over, reflect and expand on those keywords, while writing a few sentences about the topic, maybe what questions were asked and if you recall how you answered and how you felt while discussing them.

I think you’ll find a pattern in some of the questions that get asked, as well as some self-reflection, and it will also help you prepare for your next interview.

Bonus: write a post-interview summary article on LinkedIn to share with your connections to bring forth additional insights and conversations.

“Journaling helps you to become a better version of yourself” ~Asad Meah (Blogger of AwakenTheGreatnessWithin)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?

Salesforce Career Seekers – as you continue your journey to land your Salesforce position, what’s your story?

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Do you have one? If so, is it compelling, not compelling to you, but to those that are interviewing you?

There are many Salesforce professionals looking to tell their story, but it’s not yours. Think about yours and how it might be relatable and appreciated, because it’s all yours.

Does it allow the Hiring Manager, HR, other personnel (whoever you’re speaking with) tell their boss that they want to move forward with you in the hiring process?

Is there any fear or tension created that if they don’t hire you, they might be missing out on something special?

Not with arrogance layered within it, rather with confidence that you’re the right individual to get the job done and make their lives easier based on your story telling.

What would you like them to tell their boss behind closed doors? That’s the message you want to convey, that’s the story you want to perfect and have them understand clearly.

Many times, that interaction, that story, that dialogue, is what they’ll remember, not so much just what’s on your resume, your certifications, badges, etc.

If telling your story didn’t come across as you thought, planned, or rehearsed. That’s OK, there will be more opportunities to tell it again. Fortunately, you can hear it and perfect it over and over to yourself.

Remember, your story is your unique story, it may not be appreciated by all, heck, it may not even be appreciated by many, but it will be appreciated by some (or a few, or just 1), and your goal in your Salesforce career journey is to find those that need you and your story to be a part of their organization.

Perfect, rehearse and refine your story…Morning Glory.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Did you miss the career fair at Dreamforce this year?

Don’t worry, be happy…

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Below is the Quip doc of all the employers that were there (over 60 of them) and what open roles they’re hiring for: https://lnkd.in/ekrk5BE

Over the holidays, you might want to review this list and make a connection (or follow) the hiring managers, other employees and internal recruiters to keep on eye on their LI postings for further engagement for the new year.

Tip: if you cannot determine who to connect to, review their profiles to see how active they already are on LI and focus your time on those individuals.

2020 is your year for a rewarding Salesforce career.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Not Hearing Back After The Interview?

If you’ve interviewed yesterday, here’s probably what’s happened since then:

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The hiring manager’s heart beat ~104,000 times, their blood travelled ~168,000 miles, their lungs inhaled ~23,000 times, they’ve used ~7,000,000 of their ~9,000,000,000 brain cells, and spoken ~4,800 words (~20 may have been about you).

This doesn’t include the ~65 emails they received, ~10 phone calls or text messages, ~3 new fires they have to now put out at home or in the office.

Among all of this, you, as a career seeker want to find out where things stand.

It may not be an immediate priority at the moment.

Please be patient, give the hiring manager a little room, they have a lot going on, and there’s a good chance you may need to ask more than once.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Do You Have A Strategy In Mind To Land Your 1st Position?

As Neil Armstrong once stated: “You only need to solve 2 problems when going to the moon.  First, how to get there, second, how to get back. The key is don’t leave until you know how to get back”.

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In our case, you’re also working on solving 2 problems:

1. Getting to the moon: how to get educated and re-skilled on the Salesforce platform

2. Getting back to earth: how to land your 1st Salesforce position

As you put the time and energy into #1, in parallel, please also start putting a strategy in place to accomplish #2.

Inevitably, #2 will most likely be longer, harder, and more frustrating than #1, but Neil and Buzz accomplished both, why can’t you?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interview Questions That Involved Prior Research

I’m curious to know if you were recently asked a question during an interview that you could have known (or actually did know) ahead of time based on your research.

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What were those questions?

I’m not referring to experience, technical, behavioral or circumstantial, but more along the lines of:

“What do you know about us?”

“Do you know what we do?”

“Why did you decide to apply here?”

“How did you hear about our company?”

“Do you know how we use Salesforce?”

etc.

The intent is to hopefully prepare those who are actively interviewing to take note and have written responses to these.

Thank you.

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” ~Margaret Fuller (19th Century Women’s Rights Activist)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Credibility

As we go into the holiday season, one area you may want to continue to put some additional thought around is, how to increase your credibility in your Salesforce career journey into 2020.

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While there’s many facets that go into a successful interview (personality, attitude, background, experience, communication, etc.), and some you cannot change as they’re in the past, credibility can continue to be built by demonstrating (showing your work), speaking to (providing examples/stories) and being referred in (building connections).

Credibility leads to trust which leads to less risk in a hiring manager making a decision.

Suggestion: come up with a game plan on how to increase your credibility for 2020.

Then execute.

Day by day, week by week, month by month.

As you chip away, your confidence will build and so will your credibility.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Post-Interview Follow-Up Cadence

If you’ve had an interview, how are you following up?

While I don’t believe there’s one approach that trumps them all, here’s 1 suggestion:

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1. Within 24 hours of the interview, thanking them for their time.

2. Within 1 week to ask if any decisions have been made and if there are any additional questions or misunderstandings you could address.

3. Within 2 weeks if #2 above was not addressed.

<If you did not get the position, there may still be some potential, don’t give up…>

4. After hearing they decided on another candidate, follow up within 2 weeks of hearing that message, as that candidate may have fell through.

5. If the position was confirmed to be filled, follow up 30-45 days after hearing that message as there are times when things didn’t work out as intended.

6. 90-120 days after #5, stay connected as there could have been other changes internally, another position opening up, etc.

7. Semi-annually to continue to build the relationship, regardless of what your current situation is (landed something else, etc.), you’ve made that connection, stay in touch.

With following up, the intent is to build, maintain, nurture and stay top of mind, while also differentiating yourself from others.

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Interview Setback? How Edison Dealt With Adversity

On December 10, 1914, Thomas Edison’s plant was engulfed in flames causing him to lose years of priceless records, work and prototypes.

Thomas was at home and was alerted to hurry and get to his plant. He and his son quickly arrived to see everything he had worked for, disintegrate.

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How did Edison respond?

He told his son:

“Go get your mother and all her friends, they’ll never see a fire like this before”.

What?!

When his son, Charles, objected, Edison said: 

“It’s alright, we’ve now gotten rid of a lot of rubbish”

While many thought Edison had lost his mind, with the right perspective and understanding that what happened was out of his control, he rebuilt his plant in 3 weeks and end up producing more products and revenue than he had ever done before.

I think this is a very relevant story on how we deal with adversity and setbacks, specifically when interviewing and not being offered the position.

Were you able to think about all the benefits that came from that interview?

  1. You learned how to prepare effectively and creatively by researching the company and coming up with thought provoking questions (maybe learning a new technique you can use for your next interview).
  2. You made new connections that you would have never met otherwise that you can keep in touch with and possibly have paths and opportunities cross again.
  3. You may have heard new interview questions that you had not heard before that you can review and rehearse for future interviews.
  4. Maybe you have someone in mind that would be a better fit, which will strengthen the relationship for all those involved.
  5. You acquired new information during the interview, telling you what you’re not looking (or don’t care) for in a position, management style, industry, type of company, etc.
  6. The commute was longer or more strenuous than you had intended which tells you that’s not a part of town that you’d be interested in working in.
  7. The interview process was a new one for you that you had not experienced before (panel, over video, 3 hours long versus 1, etc.) and you’ve learned how to present better.
  8. You received qualitative feedback that can be analyzed and possibly used to your advantage to improve your skills on.
  9. You’re becoming more comfortable speaking in front of others and being introduced to various personalities.
  10. You learned about a new technology or feature that you would have not otherwise been introduced to.

How are you finding and reflecting on the benefits of an unexpected outcome versus spending your time dwelling only on the negatives?

To do great things, as Edison has, we can learn from setbacks while also finding joy and a sense of accomplishment, if we’re able to approach them with the right perspective.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Striking Out

In the spirit of the Major League Baseball “World” Series.

When Babe Ruth, one of the best baseball players in history (714 home-runs) would strike out, he would smile on his way back to dugout.

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His teammates would ask, “Babe, why are you smiling, you just struck out”.

Babe’s reply: “Stick around, I’m just that much closer to hitting my next home-run”.

A great outlook to have, if you end up striking out on your interview.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: I Wanted To Share A Success Story That Was Brought To My Attention.

The intent is to hopefully pick up a piece or two of wisdom to store in your back pocket as you continue your search.

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This individual specifically pointed out that it was not their current skill set but rather their potential that Accenture Federal Services saw.  Also, they expressed how flexible they needed to be with what was being offered just to get started, as well as how they branded themselves on social.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Dust Mites Love Resumes

If you’re adding your resume to the stack of 50 that’s already on a hiring manager’s desk collecting dust mites, that’s probably not where you want it to be.

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Another idea: allowing your work to speak for itself. 

It’s up to you to show why your work (projects, articles, dev org prototypes, problem/solutions you’ve thought of, etc.) can be relevant to them and their organization.

Also, don’t assume, just because your work is interesting to you, it’s interesting to them, as it might not be.

But, your creativity, your ability to be different, the small risks you take, and the extra things that you do, will continue to help you differentiate yourself.

Dust mites love resumes, but don’t allow them to sleep, relax and get fat on yours.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Airplane Runways

How long will it take to launch your Salesforce career?

Airport planners have to consider a number of factors to determine the length of a runway: airport elevation, temperature, wind velocity and direction, airplane operating weights, runway surface and thickness, as well as the ability to restrain cracking and buckling.

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Some runways are 804 feet long to handle small aircraft and others are up to 39,098 feet long to handle a space shuttle.

Like a runway, your length may vary for your Salesforce career to launch.

Your background, experiences, connections, projects, interview repetitions may come into consideration to determine how long your runway will need to be.

Give yourself enough runway to get airborne.

#1 Best Comedy Plane Movie of All Time: Airplane! (1980):

“Can you fly this plane and land it?” – Dr. Rumack

“Surely, you can’t be serious” – Ted Striker

“I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley” – Dr. Rumack

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Hitting Radio Silence? Reset Your Station.

Radio Silence: In the field of communications, radio silence refers to a period or condition when radios are not transmitting.  In the military, this may happen due to fear that a signal might be intercepted by an enemy.

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As a career seeker (and as a recruiter), we often hit radio silence after an interaction with a company (HR, internal recruiter, hiring manager, or another point of contact).

While there may be many reasons for this, I think the best way to think about this is:

“At this current moment, it’s not a high enough priority for them to solve or to get back to you (me), and it’s not a reflection on you (me).”

You, nor I, can usually change that prioritization, but what we can do is reset our station and tune into working towards other opportunities.

Reset your station.  Better melodies await you…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Unity Over Self (An Unconventional Thought)

Did you interview and not get offered the position?

How can you take that situation and make the most of it by demonstrating leadership, character, authenticity and unity over self?

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And I bet dollars to donuts will help make you feel better…

How about: Post about it, share it and let others know about the position to see if they or someone they know can have a shot at it.

“I just interviewed at Company X, and although I didn’t receive the position, here is what I learned (what they’re looking for): X, Y and Z.

If you or anyone you know may have these qualifications, have them reach out to me, we can go through it in more detail, and I can connect you with the decision makers.”

Think differently, be humble, other decisions makers will see that quality, and new opportunities may open up for you.

I think this will also give you the extra momentum internally to keep your journey going.

You’re not in this alone.

Unity Over Self…

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Illustrating Transferable Skills In Your Resume

Salesforce Career Seekers – a topic that I’ve seen brought up recently was transferable skills and how to accurately illustrate those in a resume.

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While sometimes those are easier to portray than others, you may want to outline it in a table in your resume for a potential employer to see, if you think that might help.

I reviewed an up and coming Admin’s resume on the flight to Dreamforce and came up with the below.  Their’s was easier since they came from a sales background, but I think the same concept and thought process can still apply to you, allowing you to show a little ingenuity.

That is why an employer is hiring you, isn’t it?  Creativity, solving interesting problems, being analytical, taking a little bit of information and being able to extract relevancy out of it.

If they wanted a rote task taker, they can go to Craigslist. 

You’re far better than Craigslist, unless you’re selling your lawnmower.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Buying A Book VS Interviewing You (An Analogy)

Why does someone buy a book when they don’t really know exactly what’s inside?

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It could be a little risky, right?

But risk is reduced because:

– It was recommended to them from someone else (your referrals)

– They read the front or back covers and it intrigued them (your resume or LI profile)

– They recognized the author from past bodies of work (your content, your blogs, the apps you’ve built and demonstrated)

– The buyer showed up at the same event as the author and they had similar interests (Salesforce networking events)

Book buyers tell themselves stories about why to buy a book which helps reduce their purchase risk. 

Hiring managers tell themselves stories about why to interview you which helps reduce their hiring risk. 

Have your book chosen…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interviewing Nervousness…

Do you have: nerves of steel, or nerves of play-doh?

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I’m in my 40’s now, have been through my fair share of nerve-racking experiences and I still get a little nervous when speaking to C-Level Execs.

Some of the things I tell myself that might be helpful for others when interviewing:

– They were once where you are today.

– Be yourself (which hopefully includes): likable, relatable, enthusiastic and personable.

– Talk less and listen more.

– Show genuine interest.

– Think: How can I help?

– Be nice.

– They need someone, that someone could (and should) be you.

We all have our respective issues, worries, feelings, egos, lifestyles, ideas, experiences, thoughts and desires and at the core, I would venture to guess they’re not that far apart from one another.

“Success has a simple formula: do your best and people may like it” ~Sam Ewing (Former American Baseball Player)

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Bamboozle, Bluff, Deceive, Dupe, Embellish, Hoodwink, Mislead, Misinform, Trick

In having a heart to heart with a hiring manager yesterday, the #1 challenge she has is the amount of false information she finds on a resume.

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The resume shows that the candidate appears to be a water-walker, which then entices her to interview, but as soon as a few questions are raised on their actual experience based on what’s documented, the conversation quickly dissipates.

Why?

Her words (paraphrased): “Chris, we support a billion dollar business, if I can’t trust what a candidate has on a resume, how can I trust them with anything else?”

At this point, it’s not even about the experience (or lack thereof), it’s about the deceit the hiring manager feels.

Most interviewers will probably not call this out to you during the interview or might not even tell me why you were disqualified.

I realize many are trying to get that next position, but I wanted to share the above in case you’re not seeing the success you would like and why you might not be getting a call back.

Please ensure you can speak in depth to anything that you have in your resume, as hopefully it will lead to more meaningful interviews and outcomes.

Thank you.  

With love, peace and chicken grease.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Importance Of Being Social On Social

I’m not saying to live on LinkedIn all day, every day, by scrolling, liking and consuming content, as that probably will not get you much closer to landing a position.

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What I am saying is to engage, post and well, “be social”.

If you’re consistent, it helps build awareness and occasionally it might catch the right person at the right time to what marketers deem: CTA, Call To Action (not Certified Technical Architect).

Last weekend, I caught EJ Bantz‘s post that he was looking to hire a Salesforce newcomer in Wisconsin.

No one immediately came to mind, then Tuesday John Schroeder ☁️ a newly certified Admin posted some content and I recalled John being from the Midwest (I couldn’t remember exactly where).

Low and behold, it was Wisconsin.

Ding, ding, ding.

I made the connection between EJ and John and they’re now in discussions.

LinkedIn is a great way of connecting ideas, awareness and opportunities with others, but you’ll need to produce more than consume to get noticed.

“Showing up is not all of life, but it counts for a lot” ~Hillary Clinton

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Flow

Not Salesforce Flow. Rather: Interview flow.

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Or said more politely: shut-up some

One of the more difficult pieces of feedback that I receive from a hiring manager is:

“Chris, Fire-Mouth Fred didn’t let me get a word in during the interview”

Yes, I realize that you have a limited amount of time during an interview and you have a wealth of knowledge that you want to share. 

But, not allowing the interviewer to speak and ask questions can kill the interview.

I used to do this on sales calls. 

Prospect picks up the phone:

“Hi, this is Chris (then a massive up-chuck about why I’m so great and can solve all your recruiting challenges)”.

Click…

“Hello, hello”

In your next interview, don’t be a Fire-Mouth Fred or an Up-Chuck Chris, please be more of a Free-Flowing Frances. 

Your friendly recruiter and hiring manager thanks you in advance.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interview Prep

This week was a great week doing interviewing prep with candidates.

In doing so, I thought of the below questions that you might want to ask either an external or internal recruiter before it’s your time to shine in front of the hiring manager.

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Your success should go both ways, you asking, and recruiters answering.

Yes, I know you might not get all the answers, but anything you do get, should be valuable.

The more direct questions you ask, the better.

Start with these to get the conversation flowing:

– Do you know what the hiring manager is looking for, in addition, to the job description?

– Do you know why this position hasn’t been filled yet?

– Have you received any feedback from previous interviews that can be used to my advantage?

– Are there any other areas of focus that you can recommend that I should highlight during my conversation?

Please keep in mind, some company’s treat external recruiters as strictly transactional, meaning:

“Here’s a job description, go find me someone”

Which causes a struggle to get you answers to the above, but you should ask and hopefully they can find out for you.

“Interview Prep, It Adds Some Pep, To Your Step,

For More Success? The Answer Is, Yes!

Don’t Stress or Digress, Just Impress”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Being Ignored Sucks

Over the weekend, I received a message regarding some of the suggestions that I provide aren’t effective and are not working for them and they’re often being ignored by hiring managers.

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They suggested maybe it’s their culture, their part of the world, etc.

I don’t think that’s the case.

We all get ignored and it doesn’t feel good.

It damages our ego and demotivates us in our job search.

I used to get ignored ALL THE TIME when prospecting.

For example:

Cold, generic emails returned = 0% (1 exception – someone telling me to stop emailing them) 

Cold, generic Inmails via LinkedIn returned = very low and usually after one correspondence, stops

Cold, generic calls returned = another 0% (another exception, someone calling me back thinking it was someone they knew)

Then I determined some better ways:

– Being referred in

– Providing something of value and not asking for anything in return

– Creating a message that interests them (hint: it’s probably not about me/you)

– Being creative and personable

Do I still do things wrong? For sure.

Am I still being ignored?  Without a doubt.

What needs to continue to change & evolve?  ME and the ability to BE BETTER.

If you’re consistently being ignored, maybe some of the above will help.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Giv Em Da Bizness!

Da bizness. 

Da bizness.

The interviewer that is. 

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Give them the business. 

Maybe said a better way: provide them examples of business value that you’ve previously created.

Not just all the cool things that Salesforce as a technology can do, but rather what was done to improve the business (sales, service, marketing) operations.

I’m pretty certain that’s what they care about most.

How about :

Increased sales, reduced manual steps, identified and corrected delays or hindrances, improved customer satisfaction, allowed collaboration amongst silos, streamlined workflows, provided effective marketing messaging, reduced turnover/waste, improved ROI and user adoption. 

The list goes on…

Giv em da bizness for a more impactful interview result.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How About Some Wednesday “WOW”?!

In doing a debrief with a Salesforce Admin/BA after her in person interview, we talked about the conversation and the types of questions that were asked on both sides. 

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My 2 favorite “wow” questions that she asked (paraphrased):

1. Why does this position exist? 

This question alone should give you a greater understanding about what’s happening within the organization, is it new, is it a replacement role, what’s the history behind it, etc. (CH Wow Rating: 4 out of 5).

2. What do you feel is the biggest challenge I will have in this position? 

This question is fantastic! Let the interviewer(s) provide their opinion, which opens them up and gives you insight into what you might be up against if you were to join. (CH Wow Rating: 5 out of 5).

How Now Brown Cow? 

Wow, That’s How!

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): How To Help The Inexperienced Salesforce Career Seekers

Would it make sense for Salesforce as a company to financially incentivize their customers to hire the inexperienced?

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In other words, Salesforce would offer a license discount (or premier support or some other SKU) to customers if the customer chose to hire an inexperienced Salesforce Professional who met specific requirements that Salesforce would stamp their name to (certifications, badges, mentorship program, graduating from an affiliated training class, etc.).

Would companies feel that the savings is worth considering this option?

I don’t have the math ironed out where it’s fair for everyone, but my gut tells me the imbalance of available positions requiring X years of experience and the candidate pool available that has that experience isn’t closing any time soon and I’m not sure if any compelling events are/have taken place to address this.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Please Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down

This scenario, unfortunately, happens quite often when I receive interview feedback. 

The career seeker decides to add a few technology buzzwords or responsibilities, that they weren’t directly a part of, to their resume. 

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During the interview, the interviewer decides to drill into those areas as part of their questioning.

There’s about a 90% chance the interviewer knows about those areas or wouldn’t be asking.

Uh, oh. Your pants start slipping, you’ve lost your buttons, your belt, and your suspenders. 

You might have one more shot, the interviewer changes direction and asks another question. 

Ka-plop, your pants are completely down and you’re embarrassed (or should be embarrassed). 

Interview over, credibility lost, and you need new pants.

Please make sure your resume is buttoned up to avoid getting caught with your pants down during your interview.

On behalf of Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, and Salesforce interviewers across the globe, we thank you.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Bring Your Work…ADRIAN!!!

The importance of bringing your work to an interview.

In learning a little more about Sylvester Stallone’s story of how he was able to get his “lucky” break in show business, it reminded me of how you could apply the same approach in landing your first/next Salesforce position.

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Before Sylvester became a big-time name, he was actively going to casting calls to audition for parts, and during this time, he also decided to write the screen play for Rocky, which he states took 3 days to write after being inspired by a Muhammad Ali fight that he watched previously.

After writing the screenplay and as he was auditioning, he decided to tell the producers about his story, which sparked their interest.  They asked to see it and one thing led to another, the movie was made, Sylvester took the lead (after a long negotiation process), and the movie ended up being the highest grossing film of 1976, along with having 10 Oscar nominations (winning 3) and further producing a series of Rocky films grossing over $1 billion.

In the case of your Salesforce career, you’re actively auditioning/interviewing and speaking to your experience. In addition to this, you might want to also by like Sly and bring some examples of your work.

It doesn’t have to be in perfect condition, only about 10% of Sly’s original screenplay made it to production as most of it was trivial.

But it’s a start and shows that you’ve been able to produce tangible results and allows you to have a meaningful conversation that a hiring manager can connect to and ask questions about.

Occasionally, I hear, “Chris, I might not have internet access during the interview to show my Dev org”. Please don’t let that stop you as there’s plenty of ways to demonstrate your work through screen mock-ups, wireframes or a process flow using editing tools.  

Check out: https://www.justinmind.com/ or https://www.avonnicreator.com/

Another idea, if you wanted to show a real-time demo is to ask ahead of time if there is a guest internet login in the office or even using your cell phone’s personal hotspot.

I also understand the hiring manager or interviewing panel might not have time to see your work during your interview, so another option is to ask if it’s OK to send it to them before the interview or inquire if there will be time allotted to be able to do a demo or to review what you’ve previously sent.

The point in this exercise is:

To demonstrate your work which allows further conversations to be had and additional opportunities to arise.

The Rocky series may have never produced the global fame it has today, if Sylvester Stallone didn’t ask to show his screenplay.

ADRIAN!!!

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A Farmer’s Approach To Landing Your 1st Salesforce Position

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.

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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. 

Example:

“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.

Example:

“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.

Example:

“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.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How Are You “Wow-ing” Your Interviewers?

I mean other than your stunning good looks, charming personality, pearly white smile, Old Spice/White Shoulders fragrance, and fly business suit.

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How about by bringing unexpected value to the table?

Things that make the interviewer(s) say, “wow, this candidate is really something”…in a positive way.

Differentiate yourself.

Here’s some ideas:

– Ask great, powerful questions.

– Share ideas and tips that allowed you to be successful that also might be useful for the interviewers current challenges.

– Communicate news, insights or recent events that are part of their industry.

– Show that you are the most prepared based on the research that you’ve done compared to any other candidate.

Maybe, just maybe, if your experience and skills aren’t exactly where they need to be, your “wow” factor can make up the difference.

So, before the interview, ask yourself: how can I bring unexpected value to the interview and show them my:

“WOW”!

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On The Subject Of Salary

Let’s talk about a subject that’s near and dear to most: your salary (or hourly).

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My opinion:

1. No salary survey, website, recruiter, colleague, family member, psychic, etc. is going to be 100% right and the range can vary as much as 30-40%.

2. COLA (cost of living adjustments) are way out of whack. Just doing a quick calculation, the COLA for Houston to San Francisco is 113% higher.  I don’t believe you will ever be offered a position paying you over 100% more than what you’re currently making between those 2 cities. Example – I make $80K as a Salesforce Admin in Houston, I should be making $170K in San Francisco.  Sorry, not happening.

3. You, as a candidate, should have a range in mind that’s going to work for you, and I don’t really care (meaning it’s not for me to judge) if your range is too high, unless you ask or if I think you’re extremely underpaid, then I want to let you know that.

4. Every situation is unique. Some companies have a fixed dollar amount, some have a range, some don’t even know what their range should be and then ask me to “shop” the market for them.  Many, many factors come into play. Just because company X is paying Y, that doesn’t mean every company that looks, feels and smells like company X is also going to pay Y.

Hope that helps some…

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How To Work In A Country When You Don’t Live There

I’m often asked about how to work in a country such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, or Europe if you don’t currently live there. While I don’t have THE answer, I always have opinions.

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There’s 2 options that come to mind.

Option 1 – Relying on others to get “accepted”:

– Work for X, who has offices in the U.S., Europe, Canada, wherever, and maybe you’ll get lucky at some point

– Apply to get your Masters in the U.S. which then provides you eligibility

– Continue to monitor job openings where sponsorship is available (which I think is usually for those already in the hosted country) 

Option 2 – Relying on yourself to be a differentiator:

– Build a portfolio of work product that is so remarkable to possibly gain global recognition.  Remarkable to others that is, not remarkable to you. You’re not sponsoring yourself…

I’m referring to the intangibles where trust, creativity, initiative, rapport, good judgement, relationships and human connections are needed for success to happen.

Or

– Build a skill set that is so niche, is in extreme demand, and requires day to day, in-person interaction with others where your name gets sought out?  Be “that” expert.

Option #2 is the hard path, Option #1 is the lucky path. Do things that are hard, they lead to greater satisfaction.

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A Dinner Idea

A dinner idea to share based on a candidate conversation today:

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As ridiculous as this might sound, our job is to help you land your next opportunity and to put you in the best light possible.

Therefore, we should be providing you suggestions on your resume if we think it will be beneficial to you, based on what we know about the role and company. 

BUT, it’s up to you to decide if it makes sense to you and is applicable.

It is also OK to ask a recruiter for their opinion and to provide any suggestions.

We’re not cheap to an employer, therefore, please hold us accountable, make us earn our keep, AND it’s a free service to you as a candidate.

Opportunity, You, Recruiter –  Better than any 3 meat lasagna!

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Getting Over The Nerves

Salesforce Career Seekers – occasionally, I get feedback like I did this week that the candidate was very nervous during the interview, which I think may throw things “off” for you, unless you’re able to quickly recover. 

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I still recall my 1st public speech in college, I got severely tongue tied in the 1st 20 seconds and was never able to recover for the next 20 minutes.  It was pretty horrible and embarrassing, especially since I remember it almost 20 years later…pretty crazy how the above “20’s” all came together. 

I think one of the best ways to overcome this is by getting your reps in. 

“How many reps are you lifting in that set, bro?!”

If you have a mentor or someone you trust to do a mock interview, please ask them. 

Or, if you want to do one with me, I’d be happy to with some advanced notice, NOT: “Chris, I have an interview in 30 minutes, let’s rep it out…bro”.

Get your interview reps in for greater success.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Good Question To Ask

Salesforce Career Seekers: a good question for you to ask prior to being called in for an interview, that might help save you some time and anguish, but…

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It takes guts…

Guts because it’s you being assertive and often being assertive might cause 2 parties to feel a little uncomfortable. 

That’s ok, being assertive is what employers “should” want.

However you want to wordsmith the below:

“Hiring Manager/HR/Talent Acquisition – thank you for calling me in for an interview, while I’m confident I have the ability to make a positive impact, I noticed that the job description is looking for <x, y, z, or # of years experience, or whatever else>, and I do not meet those qualifications, are you able to provide more insight regarding why I was asked to have an interview?”

In doing so, it should help you prepare better for the interview by guiding your conversation on those reasons.

My point is, I’m trying to avoid you receiving the weak ass excuse of you lacking specific experience when clearly they knew that up front but still decided to have you interview.  That is what you want to zone in on by asking why upfront.

Guts, assertiveness, possibilities, opportunities, career success, chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.  The finer things in life.

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One Of The Biggest Cardinal Sins To Interviewing: Being Late

Although, one that probably tops it: Being Smelly

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Short story:

When I was in my early 30’s, I was called in to interview with a strategy management consulting company in Atlanta.  I’m talking about big balla status, Ivy-league MBA, top tier management consulting, ~$400/HR type…way out of my league.

Maybe I had a slight chance, but then guess what?

I was late, I mean not just a few minutes, over 15…that’s an eternity when it comes to interviewing.

I didn’t account for the horrific Atlanta traffic on a Friday afternoon…how dumb, the lame traffic excuse.

Did I get offered the position…heeeeck NO! 

I’m lucky they even let me in the building to talk to me at that point.

I was stressed, I didn’t present well, I was gushing sweat out of every last pore and I didn’t have anything witty to say to dig myself out (“He must have had on some really nice pants” ~Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness).

Don’t be late, expect the unexpected.

Added bonus: don’t smell…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: USP – Unique Selling Proposition

I often try to relate Sales and Marketing to your job search and I think you should to.

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As you think about your resume, ask yourself, is this unique? 

And I’m not talking about a whacky font selection or a selfie of you with Britney Spears in the corner, I’m referring to the content.

Keywords like dependable, trustworthy, hardworking, etc. are not unique on their own and really should be expected, but rather maybe a few short sentences that imply why those are true and a reader can have an emotional connection with them.

Plus, anything else that helps show why you’re different, unique and a “good catch”.

The purpose of a USP is about positioning and connection, to attract a prospective employer and for them decide to choose to call you back versus someone else.

USP – the difference between you and me.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Let’s Play, Cliché

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” ~Wayne Gretzky (Hall of Fame, Hockey Player)

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If you decide to use LinkedIn as one of your avenues to apply for positions, please don’t let the # of applicants discourage you from also applying.

I can tell you from 1st hand experience, the majority (I would guess over 85%) of the resumes that come in aren’t even close to being qualified.

I’m talking about things like: Kids Face Painting Artists applying for Salesforce Technical Architect positions.  

I guess the applicant took the word “draw” in the below job description way too literal. 

The Salesforce Technical Architect possesses broad knowledge across multiple development platforms and “draws” on their skills…

This example is made up to prove a point, but I’ve seen some just as ridiculous. 

In summary, take a shot or two, as you’re probably closer than many others, and you never know, if a different position becomes available where you’re a better fit, you could get called in for that.

Shoot, score, win, drink champagne…

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Getting Called To The Next Round

As a recruiter, I’ll take a candidate dis-qualifier of lack of experience in a specific hard skill any day of the week, as that’s a tangible factor that’s understandable.

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But what is disheartening, is receiving the below reasons on 2 separate occasions last week, which weren’t the only reasons but definitely did not help the candidate’s overall positioning. 

“Chris, the candidate did not know anything about our company or what we do.”

And 

“Chris, the candidate was unenthusiastic and appeared as if we were wasting their time.”

I realize being unenthusiastic may be a matter of opinion or the individual could be having a bad day. 

In summary, there are many factors being evaluated during an interview, and for those that are what I consider “easier”, please allow them to be. 

It could make all the difference in being called for the next round. 

Thank you. Have a great week ahead.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Are You Tapping Into Your Past Relationships To Help You Land Your 1st/Next Position?

With the almost hard to believe statistic that states approximately 80% of positions filled are through word of mouth, please take this into consideration during your job search.

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You might want to jot down 15 or 20 people you have either previously worked with, went to school with, been a part of an association with, or somehow have known each other through past interaction and check them out on LinkedIn.

Maybe, just maybe, they can get you one step closer to the front door depending on where they’re working, the type of work they’re doing and who they might be connected with that is tied to Salesforce. 

The best time to leverage your network during your job search was yesterday, the 2nd best time is TODAY.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Annoyances Of “Too’s”

After multiple interviews, we didn’t get the offer and we’re not really sure why.

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Therefore, we usually try to rationalize all the too’s…

Were we: too short, too tall, too experienced, too inexperienced, too young, too old, too bald, too hairy, too ugly, too pretty, too intimidating, too bashful, too fat, too skinny, too fast, too slow, too much, too little, too loud, too soft-spoken, too aggressive, too passive, too late, too early, too fashionable, too old-school.

The list goes on…

And most times, we’ll never really know the real reason.

Suggestion: Reflect, but don’t dwell. Modify what you can.

Your unique too’s make up your yous.

And the right employer will come along and appreciate the too’s in you.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Do Salesforce Contractors Make More And Work Less?

This was a thought that often ran through my head when I was an employee for various SI’s and independent contractors would come in and help augment the project.

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Here I was working 60+ hours a week, in a high stress environment, with curve balls being thrown at me every which way, daily.

And many of the contractors would come in, do their job, leave on time and if called upon after hours, usually get paid for that extra time.

While this appears to be the most financially rewarding and stress-free route to take, there’s a lot more to it:

Typically:

– Contractors only get paid when they work; employees get paid regardless

– Contractors are responsible for lining up their own projects; employees don’t have to worry about this

– Contractors have to figure out things on their own; employees can often tap into their internal employee network

– Contractors have all the overhead of benefits, accounting/taxes, paid training, 401k, etc.; employees have this covered

– Contractors may hit a bill rate plateau over time; employees tend to have an upward ladder of career and salary progression

I’m sure there’s others…

Depending on your situation, the grass may not always be greener.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: BIBO (Be Intrigued By Others)

I think one of the best ways to help keep you going in your job search is speaking to others who have found success.

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Often when I’m speaking to someone and see or hear that their background had nothing to do with technology or Salesforce and now they have a successful career in Salesforce,

I’m intrigued…

So I ask them to share their story while asking questions along the way.

I suggest for you to do the same.

Why?

New ideas may arise in that conversation to help lead you a little closer to your goal.

Learn and be intrigued by others.

Success leaves clues.

BIBO!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Suggestion, Transcribe Your Career Search Experiences

If you were to ask me 3 years ago about writing, I would have thought it was a complete waste of time.

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Now that I’ve been doing it for awhile, I find it very therapeutic due to the emotional roller coaster tied to recruiting and would suggest for you to give it a try as you go along your journey of landing your Salesforce position.

It doesn’t matter if you publish it on a blog or keep it to yourself, as you’re doing it for yourself. 

Below are some of the benefits:

– Equips us with overall communication and thinking skills

– Expresses who we are as an individual

– Allows us to explain and refine our ideas

– Allows us to analyze and understand a situation better

– Allows us to have some peace of mind moving it from thoughts to written form

– Provides lessons learned along the way to reflect on

Above all, it provides us comfort to wash away negative experiences and to start again. 

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” -Anne Frank (Author, The Diary of a Young Girl)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Understanding A Hiring Manager’s Wants Versus Needs

I think most job descriptions are primarily speaking to an employer’s (hiring manager’s) needs.

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This is the practical and objective criteria to justify an initial conversation.

What the hiring manager cares more about is how a candidate is going to address their wants (the intangibles).

Which are often subjective, maybe even personable, and things that I would consider the “unspoken truth”.

Such as:

-Reducing their overhead

-Being relatable and likable

-Fitting into company culture

-Articulate/Understandable 

-Passionate

-Professional

-Reliable

-Easy going/flexible

Addressing these “wants” help remove the risk of the hiring manager making a bad hiring decision (assuming the baseline needs are also met).

As you interview, think about stories/scenarios to help illustrate these areas and I think you’ll have a better outcome.

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Being Defeated Is OK (A Different Perspective For Aspiring Salesforce Career Seekers)

In speaking with aspiring Salesforce career seekers that have yet to get their break in landing their 1st PAID Salesforce position after months or even over a year of disappointment, I often think, maybe there’s a better path forward for them which has nothing to do with Salesforce.

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Daily, we are getting hit upside the head with the future of Salesforce opportunities, thousands of jobs to be had, the projected growth of the platform, the ease of training oneself on Trailhead, the vast support system that’s available, the big money to be made, the local and national events, the list goes on and on, BUT…

This career path may NOT be the right one for you.

Sure, obstacles, challenges and the ability to push through the anguish to land that 1st Salesforce position might be what you have your heart and mind set out to do, but maybe another way to think about it, is: 

A Salesforce career or something better than where I am today

With this mindset, it gives you the opportunity to explore other career options that exist that can also give you the sense of accomplishment and career satisfaction, and only you can decide what better might be by being open to hear, explore, think and try those options.

Better for you is FOR YOU, not what anyone else necessarily encourages you to do. Your own personal perspective weighs heavily into what “better” might be, and having context around what you enjoy, and excites and motivates you to move forward.

Therefore, if you feel extreme anxiety, or the burden upon you every day as you chase this Salesforce career path, re-evaluating your situation with a deeper perspective should be the next, best course of action.

Giving up is also a sign of maturity and internal wisdom to realize something is not working and a change needs to be made.

Additionally, we often don’t speak to or highlight the challenges that a Salesforce professional experiences as part of their day to day activities, but they should be accounted for.

Some examples:

1.      Additional stress of managing unrealistic expectations by company stakeholders

2.      Dealing with end users who really don’t care about using the platform

3.      Working with other members of the team that end up breaking what you’ve built

4.      Spending hours during your personal time on the weekends or evenings to meet specific deadlines

5.      Carrying dead weight of other members of the team that make you miserable working with

6.      Layoffs will/do happen even for a Salesforce professional

I think if you have a candid conversation with most Salesforce professionals, they will tell you that their Salesforce career has its associated challenges.

For some, Salesforce fell into their laps, for others, the challenge to break in wasn’t extremely difficult, for others it was, but in summary:

It’s OK if you determine that this path is not meant for you, it doesn’t have to be, as there are endless possibilities to finding a career that brings you joy, satisfaction and success, and it’s up to you to find it.

As you continue your pursuit, rather than having the mindset of: 

Salesforce only

Think about:

Salesforce or something better than where I am today

Hopefully you would agree, that’s what really matters in your career…

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Digging Your Well (A Short Guide For College Grads Thinking About A Career In Salesforce)

Dig your well, before you’re thirsty…

No matter how smart you are, no matter how talented, you can’t do it alone.

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Recently, I had a soon to be college graduate, ask me about the best way to land a position as a Salesforce technologist before he finishes school. I thought this was a great question given he has 4 months of runway between now and the time he graduates, barring he does not get expelled for ordering a pizza in the middle of class between now and then.

The suggestion I had was an easy one to make: “start building your network of connections in the Salesforce ecosystem immediately”.

As the world changes, one thing will remain constant: the relationships you develop over a lifetime.

I think many of us wait until we are very close to graduating to make networking a priority, but to give yourself a competitive advantage against your other graduating classmates, start building the necessary bridges (aka connections) to help in forming meaningful relationships with those in the Salesforce community.

If you’re in an area that has Salesforce community meetups, please start attending and expressing your interest. I’ve been going to these for years, and very rarely do we have college students attend and I live in Houston where we have over 40 colleges and universities with over 300,000 students. You would stand out among your peers and have the opportunity to network with those already working in Salesforce. 

You can register for the various community groups here: https://success.salesforce.com/

Additionally, many universities have their own dedicated Salesforce Community Groups that are dedicated just to students. And if you don’t have one available, you could always start one.

If an in-person option is not possible, start showing up to the Salesforce virtual sessions such as the MVP Office Hours where the Salesforce community collaborates and aids those that are needing help and looking for real time feedback. Although, you might not be actively participating or don’t have questions, you should be listening and understanding the challenges existing Salesforce professionals are having, and then even start to build your network with those that are part of the group, by having conversations outside of this group setting.

Another great option is utilizing your alumni network. Search for alumni on LinkedIn that have a Salesforce title and connect with them to start conversations about their career, how they landed their 1st position and any suggestions that they might have if they were in your shoes. More importantly, KEEP IN TOUCH after making that initial outreach.  Most alumni are always open to helping a fellow student from their Alma Mater and if you’re genuine in asking for help and have humility in your conversations with them, I think most will oblige.

There’s a good acronym when it comes to networking and since we’re talking about school, what better way to tie this subject together:

R.I.S.K. 

Reciprocity – understanding that it’s a two-way street when building a network; you give, you get, you no give, you no get

Interdependency – our success does not come in isolation; we need to rely on each other for help

Sharing – hopefully we’ve all learned that sharing is caring; this is especially true in building your network

Keeping at it – sure, you may get the occasional brush off and that’s OK; if a door is closed, that just means another one somewhere else is waiting to be opened

The networking mistakes people make in their lives come from the risks they never take. 

Article was inspired by the book: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty (The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need) By: Harvey Mackay, 1997

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Salesforce Career Seekers – You Are An Artist

Salesforce Career Seekers – if you’re currently not seeing the results that you would like in landing your 1st Salesforce position, I encourage you to take on an artist mindset and start to work on your craft.

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You have all the tools you need to start (Trailhead, Developer Org, Support System, User Groups, Books, Blogs, YouTube Videos, the list goes on). The next step is to start using those tools and applying your individual thoughts to build on what you’ve learned.

Any employer can turn Salesforce “on” and start using the out of the box Salesforce functionality, but your goal is to build, customize and create a series of apps that are unique to you, your personality and the ideas that you come up with that a potential employer can have interest in and potentially start a conversation with you.

This process shows and proves that you can take an idea from a concept to a tangible, working product.

Someone (an employer for example) can always buy a stock photo that was produced for the masses, but if they want something truly unique, they’ll buy individual art.

Art has personality, it has emotion behind it, and it has the labor of love that was required to build it and then the opportunity for you to show the world, “I made this, it’s for you”. The “you” in this context is the employer who has a need for what you can do. Although, it won’t be every employer and if initially you do not get any interest, then you try again, and again and again, one paint stroke at a time.

You’ll learn, you’ll revise, you’ll get feedback and you’ll become better. 

Bob Ross, American Painter, Art Instructor and Television Host has painted over 30,000 paintings in his lifetime, and 91% of those contained the same elements (clouds, mountains, lakes). He then added his own personality to each and every painting based on how he was feeling that day. Translate this to Salesforce, it can be accounts, opportunities, cases, contacts, workflow automation, data validation rules, or even custom objects which you create. After reading or thinking about a concept, figure out ways to apply that to your work in progress application and keep building upon it.

A few quotes by Bob that might help you in your journey:

“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”

“I think there’s an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us.” 

“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”

“Anytime you learn, you gain.”

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.”

Now it’s your turn to be an artist and show the world what you can do.

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A Good Salesforce Success Story

A good Salesforce success story to share from a Salesforce connection who landed his 1st Admin position.

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Over the course of a year or so, he used Trailhead and Udemy to study for and pass the Administrator and App Builder certifications

He then built a custom app for his current company to try to convince them to adopt Salesforce, and let him transition to an Admin role. This didn’t go anywhere with his company, but the process of trying to find solutions to real problems helped him to connect many of the trails and projects he had been learning on Trailhead.

Applied to every position he could find.

Continued to refine his resume and asked for feedback from other Salesforce professionals.

Accepted lots of rejection.

Reached out to acquaintance/friend who’s company was looking for a developer. He encouraged him to apply, even though he knew nothing about the development.  He received an email a week later saying they just happen to also be looking for an Admin, and wanted to set up an interview. 

He was offered a job a week later. 

Having a connection somewhere can help you stand out when a hiring manager has a massive stack of resumes.

Networking can be all you need to get your foot in the door and in this story the path to success is not a straightforward one.

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Salesforce Newcomers: What Are You Doing To Become “Known”?

I strongly believe that is the #1 question to ask yourself daily.

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You should have a list of simple, realistic and easy to obtain goals to help you become more known.

Think about how a marketing drip campaign works.

Drip, drip, drip…

That’s the mindset you should have.

Building awareness, dropping value, making connections, meeting others, writing, engaging, showcasing your work.

Daily, weekly, monthly, whatever cadence you want; the more the better as long as it’s valuable and not:

Posting 1 certification and saying: “here I am, come and get it”.

My brother from another mother, Ben Duncombe, just hit me up and we’ll be working on a podcast around “branding”, but in the meantime, please start thinking through and listing some ideas and goals to help you achieve better awareness of who you are, what you can do, and why you have EARNED the right to be a contender in this ultra competitive Salesforce newcomer job market.

And if you’re hesitant, remember this:

“Be who you are and say/do what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

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Two Things An Employer Is Evaluating

Salesforce Career Seekers – as you continue to put your sales hat on to help sell yourself into your 1st position, there are 2 major things that come to mind that an employer is most likely evaluating. 

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How do they:

Reduce the risk of the hiring decision. 

Trust that the individual selected is the right choice. 

And how do you go about meeting/exceeding these objectives?

It’s not just by what you say, but rather by what you can show.

There are countless ways to show and share your ideas, your work, your passion, your skills, your ability to connect and collaborate.

And this is all FREE!

It just takes time.

Doing so, builds awareness, allows connections, reduces risk and increases trust.

Help make the hiring manager’s decision an easy one.

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Keeping A Pulse On Market Conditions

Salesforce Professionals – if money (aka your salary) is your major motivational factor, are you keeping a pulse on if your salary is in line with market conditions?

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Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the day to day we may lose sight of what I call “opportunity cost”.

The loss of potential gain when one choice is taken versus another. 

In other words, if I’m being paid $10 today and the market conditions are saying that I should be paid $12, I’m leaving $2 in lost opportunity dollars per day for someone else (your employer to keep, your colleague to have, another company who is willing to pay it, etc.).  All other things remaining equal.

Days compound to weeks, weeks compound to months, and before you know it, a years worth of opportunity cost dollars really add up.

I’m not suggesting greed, I’m suggesting fair. 

And I realize there’s much more that goes into your career than money and other ways to weigh your job satisfaction. 

In summary, it is your responsibility to reduce your opportunity cost as much as you can and to take an occasional evaluation.

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In The Spirit Of College Football

Salesforce Career Seekers – in the spirit of college football kicking off in the U.S. this week, a short career success story from my network.

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An experienced Java developer recently relocated to a completely new area where she wasn’t known and in parallel decided to change career paths to Salesforce. 

As we might expect, she continued to run into roadblocks due to lack of relevant specific Salesforce experience.

Being proactive, she started to build her LI connections in the area.  One of those connections decided to pass her resume over to HR. 

Although the company wasn’t hiring, she persuaded HR to interview her anyhow for the future. 

Low and behold, eventually a position opened up and she was the 1st candidate they called and eventually landed the position. 

Key points:

1. She focused on, learned and applied scenario based problem solving skills more than strictly certs. 

2. She stayed confident in her abilities.

3. She was proactive. 

B!

B!

B PROACTIVE!

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Interview Tips

This week, I was asked to conduct a mock interview for an up and coming Salesforce professional, as part of the Salesforce mentorship program.

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Some key takeaways from that interview that I thought might be helpful:

– Have an answer regarding why you chose Salesforce as your profession (suggestion: probably best to leave $ out of the answer).

– Be sure you’re in a quiet location for the call, even subtle background noises can be a distraction (wind blowing, traffic, cows mooing).

– If you’re unsure that you answered the question being asked, ask the interviewer: “did that address your question or should I elaborate further?”

– Have a good answer to: why you chose to apply for this position and/or this company.

– Have a few answers to: how you solved a challenging problem, why it was a challenge and what you learned.

– Follow up with a brief email (again: brief), reiterating what you heard and why you think you would be a good fit; be specific.

Short tribute and relevant lyrics:

“If at first you don’t succeed (first you don’t succeed),

Dust yourself off, and try again

You can dust it off and try again, try again” 

“Try Again” ~ Aaliyah, 08/25/2001

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Being An Independent Salesforce Consultant

Over the weekend, I read a few great articles on being an independent Salesforce consultant.

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One aspect I wanted to point out, based on my experience, that you might want to take into consideration, if this is the route you aspire to take, is your bill rate.

I believe eventually you hit a ceiling, regardless of how many additional years of experience you have, additional certifications you obtain, high profile clients you’ve served, etc. 

There are exceptions to produce greater income, such as, building an actual company with employees, moonlighting and serving more than one client, or finding clients that will only pay what you want to charge and you’re willing to turn down projects until then.

My bill rate eventually flatlined based on what the market was willing to pay and I have those in my network that have seen the same. 

I also have had discussions with those who decide to go back to being a corporate employee because of this (along with the need to have a steady paycheck).

Your mileage may vary, but please keep in mind that your bill rate curve does not go to infinity as an independent consultant.

Have a great week ahead.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Your Work, Your Ideas, And Your Name Can Spread…

Like butter. But you gotta start.

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And I’m not talking about spamming everyone you know telling them that you’re looking for a Salesforce position – that’s easy, not too effective, and probably a little annoying to the recipient. 

I’m referring to the hard stuff: moving your ideas to tangible outcomes, sharing what you’ve built, presenting your ideas to others, soliciting feedback, asking for help.

That shows vulnerability, humility and personality.

That’s what helps to get your name, your work, your candidacy and your butter to spread. 

Will the 1st attempt be buttery smooth?

Probably not. 

Then what?

Do it again, again, and again.

You’ll get better and the spreading will happen one dollop at a time. 

In general, people enjoy helping other people and want to spread the word to others about your capabilities.

But they’re much more open to this, when they see you putting in the work, the effort and the ability to persist through the tough times.

Spread your butter as:

“With enough butter, anything is good.” ~Julia Childs (American Chef)

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Specifically Aspiring Developers):

A conversation of “buts” that might be in your head:

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Aspiring SF Developer: Chris, I keep trying, but I can’t get a break.

Chris: Please be patient, your time will come, hers did.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, maybe I’m past my prime?

Chris: No, you’re not, it wasn’t past hers.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I live in a small town.

Chris: Doesn’t matter, she did too.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I’ve never had a job in tech.

Chris: Neither did she.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I don’t have a 4 year computer science degree from a major university.

Chris: She had a 2 year programming degree at a local community college.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I took some years out to be a mother.

Chris: Oh yea, how about 15 years that she took.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I don’t know what to do now.

Chris: Neither did she, BUT, what she did have was goals and aspirations to become a Salesforce developer and now has been doing it professionally for 3+ years.

Post inspired by a phone conversation I had with a Salesforce developer this week where all the above was true.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – An Idea To Take Into Account When Interviewing

Treat it like an investigation with answering these types of questions:

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1. What are the problems with the company that you’re interviewing with trying to solve?

2. What are the anticipated outcomes of these problems and what is the timeframe to achieve those?

3. How would you approach solving these given your experience (or if not experienced, your approach to solving any problem in the past).  And I’m referring to a systematic, thought provoking process, not just “Googling” for an answer.

The more you can find out about #1 and #2 before the interview, the better. Then further flush these out during the interview. Then write a short follow up afterwards summarizing what you heard and your approach. 

Will it guarantee a new position? Of course not. 

Will it help you stand out and be remembered? Without a doubt.

Will it help you be better prepared for your next interview? 100%

In Summary: Investigate, Anticipate, Demonstrate, Correlate, Collaborate, Differentiate, Be Great!

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When We’re Not A Fit

Salesforce Career Seekers – there are times when we decide we’re not a fit for a particular position that we’ve interviewed for. 

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One way to help keep the relationship in tact for the long term and to turn the disappointing news with the interviewing company into a positive one, is by referring someone else from your network that you know is actively looking and could be a better match based on what you’ve learned about the position and company (assuming it was a positive experience).

Turning down career opportunities can be a hard decision and can stir up some additional emotions, but providing an alternative candidate to the hiring manager or HR can also help show that you have an interest in helping them succeed.

A good way to build a stronger bond in both directions, as it’s often those small gestures that can have a much larger impact on your career somewhere in the unforeseeable future.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Few Ideas Or Questions To Think About For Your Next Interview

Issue, Impact, Importance

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Issue: what are the top problem(s) the organization is trying to overcome as it relates to Salesforce?

Impact: in not solving this issue, how is it effecting (fill in the blank)? 

Importance: how long has this been a problem and why is there such urgency now?

Bonus: what did you like about my resume, experience, digital footprint, referral, etc. that helped in determining I might be a good match for this role?

Understanding the what (the issue), the why (the impact), and the importance, can help lead the conversation into the “how”, which should be where you bring in your expertise (especially when you asked – what they liked about your background).

I realize interviews aren’t this straightforward, but the above could just be mental notes to take with you.

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Attitude Makes All The Difference

As I get older, hopefully I’m becoming a little wiser and healthier, a lot less uglier, and much more appreciative. 

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I find tremendous satisfaction in hearing about the success of others.

This past week I had a Salesforce “newbie” provide me the great news that they landed their 1st paid Salesforce position. 

We connected back in August of 2018 as they read one of my articles and wanted to discuss their Salesforce career aspirations. 

9 months later after keeping their head down and focusing on their goals, they succeeded. 

While I don’t have a huge sample set to reference, those that come to mind took between 9-12 months as to when they decided to “go for it” and getting that 1st Salesforce opportunity. 

Obviously, there’s many variables at play and your results will vary, but I did want to share a short success story if it helps to keep you going. 

Regardless of this example or any others, in my opinion, your ATTITUDE over the long run is what will make the difference.

Have a great weekend, I’m off to cut cucumbers for my eyes.

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Get Creative

This was such an exciting story, I had to wake up extra early just to write it…

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Meet Jeanne Moeller – she’s looking to continue her Salesforce career, particularly in Higher Ed, she’s considered a “Data Geek” and understands the value of good, clean data in a CRM.

Here’s what she did:

Made a tweet asking for help.  

It only received 3 retweets and 25 likes.

The quantity didn’t matter, as it fell in the right hands, at the right time, sparked a hiring manager’s interest and she got an interview.

The next thing she did was STELLAR!

She went to the company’s website and filled out an online form inquiring about their products and services.

Sure enough the VP of Sales (or equivalent) contacted her…ABC – Always Be Closing, right? 🙂

She responded with (paraphrased): “I actually wouldn’t be an ideal prospect, but I’m currently interviewing with your company, do you have 20 minutes to discuss why you enjoy working there?”

Dang, that was genius on so many levels!

That conversation occurred and she’s continuing the interviewing process.

That’s how you stand out, that’s how you get creative, that’s how you get a potential shot.

Figure out your inner genius, we all have it!

Ok, it’s 4:30 AM, I have cows to milk and chickens to feed…

Have a great Tuesday!

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Please Don’t Do These

In the world of recruiting/contract staffing, the more ridiculousness I run into, the more I realize if I didn’t have a good relationship with the customers I work with, I would have been kicked to the curb long ago. 

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Here’s the latest, please don’t do these (for my sanity):

1. If you’re going to use the word “Present” on your resume, that means right now. Not yesterday, last week or last year. I don’t recommend to have “Present” on your resume and then your LI profile shows employment ending in 2018…you’re off to a bad start when dates don’t line up. 

2. If you’re running a side hustle other than between 7 PM and 7 AM or on the weekends or holidays, it takes about 2 days for your current project to figure it out and call me for an exit strategy. 

3. If you’re going to send in someone else for an in-person interview versus the individual I spoke with on the phone, at least give them the instructions I provided on how to get into the building, who to ask for, etc. – showing up like a lost puppy is not good; they failed the interview with flying colors, BTW.

And my wife wonders why I insist on having 3 glasses of wine at dinner…

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A Career In Information Technology – The Great Neutralizer

I don’t think there are too many career paths that allow you the opportunities that a career in I.T. can provide.

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When it comes to financial growth and long term prosperity (and I know $ isn’t everything, but some may say it’s 2nd to oxygen), only a few occupations (also sales, business owner) will allow you to make a “good” living regardless of a degree received from a prestigious university or a community college, to having a different degree all together (where’s those History majors out there?) or even having no degree at all.

We either fit into any of the above or know someone who does.

If you’re thinking of making the jump, please don’t hesitate too long.  The industry can use your help; it’s no cake walk, you’ll get frustrated (a lot) and you might even be considered a geek, but the career opportunities are endless.

Post inspired by a young professional I have been helping this week as he was given the opportunity to get hired in as a helpdesk analyst with no prior experience and I told him that he would be missing a golden opportunity if he passed it up. It was an internal struggle for him of short term versus long term thinking. 

Fortunately, he listened and he has a bright future ahead.

You do too…

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It’s Only A Matter Of Time – And Yours Will Come

Over the last 10 days or so, I’ve had 4 Salesforce Professionals get back to me with exciting news that they’ve landed a new Salesforce position, which was great to see.

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If you’re still in your pursuit, it’s only a matter of time.   

And your time will come.

If you have an interview queued up this week, are you prepared?

Some things to think about:

The interviewer is expecting intelligent and engaging questions. 

They’re looking for what you know and understand about their business…in other words, did you do any research?

They’re looking for an idea or two that you can present to differentiate you from the next candidate.

Don’t do all the talking, the more you talk, the less you learn.  Learn about their specific challenges during the conversation, then follow up with what you learned while thanking them for the time. 

Your ideas, your preparedness, your positive personality, your confidence, your follow up is what can differentiate you from others, especially when you don’t meet all the other qualifications. 

An employer is giving you a chance to show your intangibles.  You’re in control of those. Show them!

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Understanding The Compensation

This is about as annoying as it gets, IMO. Employers, please don’t do this (this way), I see nothing but smoke and mirrors and a lot of potential ticked off candidates with a recruiter stuck in the middle.

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I received a job order yesterday (from a new employer) stating the salary was $120k. 

I then go back and asked about the bonus structure. 

Their response: actually the salary is 90% of the 120k, with a bonus structure of the other 10% after 12 months of employment. 

It’s funny how they left that critical part out of the initial job req.

In good faith, I’ll assume they were waiting for me to go back and ask as I wait patiently with popcorn and soda.

Be careful candidates, always understand the full compensation up front before proceeding. If the recruiter doesn’t know, it’s their job to find out.

It appears that Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, David Blaine, and Criss Angel have teamed up to help some employers write job orders.

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The Format Versus The Content

In reviewing and providing suggestions on a handful of resumes this week, I think we often get too concerned on the format versus the content. 

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Here’s some questions that I came up with to ask yourself that might be helpful:

1. Have I accurately detailed out what value I added, goals achieved, company and personal success I obtained?

2. Have I put in enough detail to help explain what specific processes and functionality I created/improved so a future employer understands my expertise?

3. Do I show what creative solutions I came up with and why it was helpful and valuable to the organization?

I think resumes are personal, and in the end you have to be comfortable with it. 

You can ask 5 different people and get 5 different opinions.

Maybe this verse is enough:

“show you’re wise, tell no lies, be easy on the eyes, and your career will rise”. -Shakespeare Hopper

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Understanding The Compensation

This is about as annoying as it gets, IMO. Employers, please don’t do this (this way), I see nothing but smoke and mirrors and a lot of potential ticked off candidates with a recruiter stuck in the middle.

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I received a job order yesterday (from a new employer) stating the salary was $120k. 

I then go back and asked about the bonus structure. 

Their response: actually the salary is 90% of the 120k, with a bonus structure of the other 10% after 12 months of employment. 

It’s funny how they left that critical part out of the initial job req.

In good faith, I’ll assume they were waiting for me to go back and ask as I wait patiently with popcorn and soda.

Be careful candidates, always understand the full compensation up front before proceeding. If the recruiter doesn’t know, it’s their job to find out.

It appears that Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, David Blaine, and Criss Angel have teamed up to help some employers write job orders.

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The Format Versus The Content

In reviewing and providing suggestions on a handful of resumes this week, I think we often get too concerned on the format versus the content. 

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Here’s some questions that I came up with to ask yourself that might be helpful:

1. Have I accurately detailed out what value I added, goals achieved, company and personal success I obtained?

2. Have I put in enough detail to help explain what specific processes and functionality I created/improved so a future employer understands my expertise?

3. Do I show what creative solutions I came up with and why it was helpful and valuable to the organization?

I think resumes are personal, and in the end you have to be comfortable with it. 

You can ask 5 different people and get 5 different opinions.

Maybe this verse is enough:

“show you’re wise, tell no lies, be easy on the eyes, and your career will rise”. -Shakespeare Hopper

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On Professionalism

Salesforce Career Seekers – if you’re getting twisted, turned, and bent out of shape when it comes to interviews and the lack of professionalism that often occurs, you are not alone.

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Below is the latest I received from one Salesforce professional from last week alone:

– 2 interviews scheduled – both started over 10 minutes late

– 1 interview scheduled – no call at all; then a call the next day to reschedule then was interrupted so never really happened

– 1 interview occurred – told the applicant they were not qualified, but that they were qualified for another position, and then never heard back

Remember, it’s not what happens, but rather how you let it effect you that matters.  

Stay positive, keep trying and be flexible.

Sincerely,

Gumby and Pokey (the most flexible duo on the planet)

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Non-competes

Salesforce Career Seekers – let’s talk about “non-competes”, which also can be called NDA’s, CDA’s, PIA’s, SA’s, or some other legal document that employers may have you sign that protects their “trade secrets”.

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In speaking with a Salesforce consultant this past week, he/she was recently employed by a system integrator.  

AFTER STARTING, he/she was then handed a non-compete to sign that stated he/she could not work for a competitor for a year after ending their employment with this new employer.

So let’s recap (if this was me): 

1. I’m a Salesforce consultant

2. There’s thousands of Salesforce integrators (aka competitors)

3. I’m handed a legal document to sign after I’ve already started basically saying, I’ll need to take a year off after leaving or face potential legal ramifications

Quite a frustrating story and maybe there’s more to it on the legal side, but I don’t see how this is in your best interest.

To conclude, that was their last day (after having their lawyer review).

Please don’t get backed into a corner like this, thoroughly review every document you are asked to sign, if something seems “off”, ask someone.  

A new, better opportunity awaits you…

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Showcase!

In the highly competitive Salesforce job market, where most applicants have Trailhead badges, a few certifications, maybe some volunteer experience and a well put together resume, there needs to be additional areas that are unique to your capabilities showing how you think, solve problems and add value to an organization.

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I believe the #1 way to be able to do this is: Showcasing.

Showcase: 

Verb: The ability to exhibit or display skills

Noun: A place for presenting something favorably to gain attention

The key words in the above definitions: Skills & Attention

Every day we’re inundated with others trying to grab our attention, but as a job seeker you need to consistently be at the top of the attention list to your network and to potential employers by showing, demonstrating and proving your skills and added value.

I realize there may be some resistance to putting yourself “out there” and you might get criticized either for doing something incorrectly or potentially showing a lack of creativity. Fortunately, most are not going to analyze your work to that level of detail, but rather identify it as a key differentiator between you and another potential candidate. The feedback and attention on your work that you might receive whether constructive or positive, builds on itself and allows you to become better known as a contributor in the Salesforce industry.

Plus, it shows the world you have passion in pursuit of your career aspirations.

When all things are equal, YOU, YOUR PASSION AND YOUR CREATIVE WORK make up the difference.

Creativity is scarce, scarcity creates value, value is what employers want, need, and are searching for.

But Chris, I don’t know what to actually “Showcase”. 

Have you thought about it, have you tried ANYTHING or are you resisting before even getting started?

We ALL have resistance and a level of vulnerability that we don’t really want to expose. It’s not near as bad as it seems, but the 1st step is to decide to try, try again, then try again. You will get better over time.

Persistence is key.

You can’t attempt 1 creative act and then stop, as that will not allow you to gain the attention that you’re looking for. Attention leads to conversations, which then leads to interviews that then leads to opportunities that then leads to a fulfilling career. This may take weeks, months or even a year to gain, but when you get started, I’m confident new ideas will start coming to mind. Some will be good and some will be bad, and that’s OK, as you’ll gain:

MOMENTUM!

You’ll learn more about yourself along the way, building your professional character and confidence. 

Below is a list of suggestions.

These are free or cost very little and you have most of the tools already at your disposal.

Everyone has their own medium they feel the most comfortable in, it could be videos, a podcast, a series of articles, blogs, posts, etc. You may want to try different ways as one may work better than another depending on the message you’re wishing to convey and the interaction you’re receiving.

All these mediums already exist and have been done by others, and you can easily piggyback back off what you enjoy and add your unique personality to them.

  • Create a blog/vlog or a custom Salesforce job tracker app around your career search journey, tracking the companies, the contacts, the job postings, how you applied, your follow up activities, interviews that were lined up, how you prepped for those interviews, and the associated outcomes.
  • Read, analyze, build proof of concepts, and provide your opinion on the quarterly Salesforce release notes that you liked/disliked.
  • Review the Salesforce Community pages where questions are asked and identify common issues that people are experiencing and use those to build a possible solution around.
  • Create an app that solutions a current problem you’re having at your office, your home, etc.
  • Attend some of the local Salesforce User Groups that often present specific functionality, then build off of those concepts.
  • Review products on the AppExchange that are not too complex and come up with a modified version of your own.
  • Check out various podcasts that members of the Salesforce community air as often they discuss problems either they’re working on or questions of listeners.
  • Review blogs of other content creators and create a spin-off of a problem they’re solving.
  • Some great specific Salesforce technical examples (courtesy of Chris Pearson, Salesforce Director of HFF in Houston):

a. Creating a trigger that automatically allows a file to be deleted based on a user action

b. Create a lightning component that allows a user to search and view all records they are following in Chatter

c. Provide an app that can take activities tied to an opportunity and present them in a data table

In spending a little time each day or week chipping away at showcasing your ideas and creativity to the Salesforce community, you’ll gain the attention and the career breaks that you’re looking for.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to go through these or other ideas to help in your journey.

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The Salesforce Career Transition Dip

Evaluating changing your career to Salesforce? Please think about the career dip that’s involved to help make sure you’re making the right decision.

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What do I mean by “career dip”?

Basically, the drop that is most likely going to occur between where you are today in your career and where you’re wishing to go, which will not be a linear transition.

The dip would include a potential drop in: your salary, your experience, your industry reputation, your connections, your learning curve, your attitude, possibly your well-being, etc.

Asking yourself if you’re willing to jeopardize these.

With all the Salesforce marketing that surrounds us everyday such as:

  • Salesforce company growth projections
  • Salary surveys of everyone and anyone making 6 figures in a Salesforce career
  • The Salesforce community continuously posting about meet-ups, events, conferences, success stories, camaraderie, etc.,
  • The ease of self-educating and re-tooling yourself with Trailheads and Certifications
  • The vast amount of demand for skilled Salesforce professionals in the marketplace
  • The ability to easily get in and volunteer at all the non-profits to get experience

While all this is great to see, there also needs to be some realism at hand by first understanding where you are today, and thinking if taking the plunge over to Salesforce is the right choice for you, your family, and your personal financial situation, along with the downside effects that are going to happen first as you bottom out into the dip.

Weekly, I speak to those that have been in a non-Salesforce related position for 5, 10, 15+ years and are ready to make the transition. Then as we dig deeper, we discuss their current situation and everything their career has built up to over the years with the comfort, steady income, and knowing exactly how to do perform well at their current position.

Although they feel they have hit a dead end in their career growth and that it’s time to do something new and exciting, inevitably Salesforce seems like the easiest path with the least amount of resistance based on the above reasons. 

In my opinion, that is just not the case.

Why?

Getting in on the ground floor in the Salesforce ecosystem is HARD!

Either you’ve already been challenged with this personally, or you’ve heard about it from others or the negative thoughts might have started to run through your mind.

Like any other profession, almost (I’d say 95%) of employers want REAL experience. Most don’t care if:

  • You’re making $90+K at your last non Salesforce related position
  • You have 100K+ Trailhead points
  • 45 badges and counting
  • X times certified
  • Went through world renowned training boot-camps
  • A participant in local community events, Dreamforce, etc.

Why?

Those avenues are available to everyone with little to no cost associated and therefore doesn’t really set you apart.

I realize there was some sacrifice, time and energy commitment in achieving some of the qualifiers that Salesforce has to offer, but frankly that is just NOT enough.

So here’s where the dip comes into play and how to get through it… 

Those that are willing to push through by experiencing the failures, the no’s, the “come back when you have more experience” excuse, the salary reduction of 20, 30, 50%, the months of potential volunteer work you put in,

But more importantly:

YOUR ABILITY TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT ALONG THE WAY.

Key word being “different”.

How can you be different?

One suggestion is to showcase what you can do without seeing a dime from it by coming up with your own projects, problems and solutions and showing the world what you can offer as it’s unique to only: 

YOU!

And doing it continuously.

This is where the real opportunity can be found.

Your work, your craft, your ability to constantly be uncomfortable by challenging yourself and prove to others your self worth.

Saying: this is me, this is what I can do, this is the value I can add to your organization. I am the right fit because of what I’ve done, while explaining in intimate detail why this matters with conviction and a positive attitude.

But before you begin this journey, are you ok with the career dip that will inevitably exist, by being better than where you currently stand, by differentiating yourself, as this is what it’s going to take to be successful.

You can say no, as this Salesforce career transition path is not the only one that’s available to your unique personality, skills, background and service offering and greater success does exist elsewhere. 

Besides, you’ve already been pretty darn successful to get to this stage of your career and you have the battle scars to prove it.

You’re on your own personal journey to find career greatness, just don’t let the external Salesforce “hype” influence your decisions while removing realistic expectations of what’s involved in the process to get there.

Better things await you, but a career dip is inevitably at play.

I’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you further in evaluating your career options.

Article concept inspired by Seth Godin’s book: The Dip

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“O, Recruiter, Recruiter – Wherefore Art Thou Recruiter?*

Recently, I was presenting the state of the Salesforce career market to a regional Salesforce user group and one of the attendees asked why we, as recruiters, “ghost” candidates.

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While I wasn’t all that familiar with that term as I have heard of ghosting in various aspects, most recently employees ghosting meaning they don’t show up for their 1st day of work, or they show up for a few days and then just decide to never return without any form of communication back to their employer. I think no matter the situation, we’re basically talking about removing oneself from a situation without any form of feedback to the corresponding party. 

As I explained my thoughts during the Salesforce user group session, I thought it would be appropriate to write a short article for future reference. This is based on my short tenure as a recruiter, a little over 2 years, and are completely based on my experience and some of the situations I’ve run into (or have heard about).

1.      We’re lazy. When we receive negative feedback from the hiring manager and decide to just sit on it, we hope that when we go silent it’s assumed you just weren’t chosen to move forward in the process.

2.      We’re scared. After the initial screening, we decide that you were not a good fit for the position but decided not to tell you that as we don’t enjoy delivering negative news.

3.      We don’t get timely feedback. After submitting your resume to the company we’re representing, the hiring manager does not provide us any updates in a reasonable amount of time. Once we do get feedback and if it’s not positive, we decide too much time has elapsed so there’s no need to report back to the candidate as we might have determine you’ve probably moved on by now.

4.      We’re wrong. Occasionally, a company is looking for very specific set of skills, and although we haven’t been able to find that complete set, we feel you might be a “close enough” fit. We don’t tell you that during the interview and ultimately, we were wrong, causing us to either get ignored by the hiring manager or the hiring manager tells us and we just sit on it. (see #1 above).

5.      Position to candidate mismatch. After you submit your resume to a recruiter for a specific position, although you may feel you’re a great match, we decide otherwise and don’t communicate back.

6.      We don’t “own” the position.  If the recruiter is also in a sales role, they are responsible for acquiring new accounts. One way this happens is using a tactic where the recruiter submits a resume to a company that they are not in communication with to have the hopes that it will start a conversation with the hiring manager.

7.      We forget. As poor as an excuse as this is, recruiters tend to juggle multiple balls in a given day, and occasionally a few drop, usually the one that drops the most is the candidate feedback ball.

While I’ not trying to justify any of the above situations are the correct way to build a candidate relationship, these are the things that come to mind that I think are worth mentioning. Then when we wonder why candidates don’t get back to us after we reach out to them.

I believe the best advice for a candidate if you don’t hear back, is to help us stay on top of things, by reaching out to us more than once. I’ve been in situations where I’ve forgotten to follow up with the client, then I get a call from the candidate which reminded me to do so. In my opinion, 2-3 times should be more than enough, and if after that many attempts you still don’t get feedback, then I would cut ties with that recruiter and move on, as I think that’s where the professional divide is drawn.  

*Wherefore actually means “Why” based on the Romeo and Juliet play

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Breaking Into Your CRM Career

As a former technical consultant turned recruiter, I occasionally get asked about how to get your first opportunity to work in a specific technology, when you have no prior experience.

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It’s always the catch-22, I can’t get experience if I don’t have it first, which I don’t believe is true if you apply some of the concepts below. Sure, it doesn’t happen over-night, but any remarkable success never does.

With the CRM market continuing to be red-hot and my primary focus in recruiting, this is the specific technology I get asked about the most, but I think these concepts can be applied to any technology or career choice.

1. Acres of Diamonds. In Russell Conwell’s book he discusses a farmer who hears about other farmers making millions discovering diamond mines, so he decides to sell his farm and go searching. In doing so, he ends up being unsuccessful but coincidentally the new farmer who bought his farm discovers the land that he just sold is the most productive diamond mine on the entire continent. Moral of the story: if the first farmer had taken the time to analyze and study his current surroundings before looking elsewhere, his desires to own a diamond mine would have come true.

How do we translate this story to the career step you’re looking to make? Regardless of where you work, who you know or what you do, I believe either your current employer or someone in your network has a direct connection to a technology you’re looking to get into. They could be an end user, an administrator, a consultant, or even work for a product company. Specific to CRM, most companies have a CRM system of some type, whether it’s a notepad, sticky-notes, Rolodex, phone or a more sophisticated technology. I suggest talk to your sales team or someone within your network sales team to find out how they’re using it to track their leads, accounts, opportunities, sales process, etc. Then, move into I.T. to find out who manages the CRM, what it is, how they do it, what’s the status, etc. and continuously spend time with them asking questions.

As you continue to gather information, ask if there’s an opportunity to tackle some of the easier requirements, enhancements or defects the I.T. team is currently working on. This may have to be outside of your current day to day responsibilities, but obviously some additional effort will be necessary to accomplish your new career path. Generally, I.T. has more work than resources, so getting some additional help would generally be greeted with open arms. But, you need to minimize the additional overhead for them, so they key is to learn, challenge yourself and look for solutions on your own. Create a demo environment (sandbox) and work on a few of the requirements they have, see what you can come up with and then present your ideas back to gather feedback, make changes, self-educate and over time, new opportunities will come your way as you get more proficient in your skill set.

2. Experience Needed – Will Work for Free. As ridiculous as this might sound, taking this leap of faith will lead to long term success. A notable example: Carlos Siqueira, who’s a Salesforce MVP now, just posted a 2-year anniversary about how he was able to break into the Salesforce technology by doing a 6-month Salesforce administrator internship (for free!). Sure, he hit some obstacles a long the way, but as he looks back on the sacrifices he made to get where he is today, he would do it all over again without hesitation. If Carlos can make this step, anyone can. But, the point is making the 1st step. Be vulnerable, be prepared to get rejected, to struggle, to be challenged, but keep moving forward and keep asking to help others and for others to help you. Working for free is never the ideal situation but gaining the experience and the ability to add actual hands on experience on your resume is guaranteed to give you more opportunities for the future. Unfortunately, certifications alone show that you’re committed to learning the technology, but the professional experience is what employers will always look for.

3. Put the “Work” into Network. Everyone who’s currently doing what you want to do has a story about how they got there. Sure, it’s their story and may not completely apply to you, but for each story you hear, there’s a potential for you to learn from their experiences to determine how to use that for your current situation. I don’t mean speaking to 1 or 2 people and stopping to say their experience was so unique and could never work out for me, as that might be the case. Rather talk to at least 20 people, whether that’s in a User Group meeting, via LinkedIn or at a technology conference. I’m confident that you will pick up small experiences from others that can be very relatable to where you are today. The contacts you meet who are willing to help will be a great sounding board for you as you continue to evolve into the career you desire. The key is continuous contact, share information, gather feedback and one of those contacts may even be who will lead you into your next terrific opportunity.

Feel free to connect with me for a more detailed discussion or to hear about my specific story or if I can help you connect with others to hear about theirs.

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3.5 Marketing Tips To Salesforce Career Advancement

As a Salesforce Professional, I imagine your phone, email, mailbox and pager are ringing off the hook weekly with new Salesforce positions being proposed to you, but are the inquiries that you’re receiving opportunities for career advancement or are they a downgrade to your current position, a lateral move or possibly not even a good match for the skills you possess?

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have external recruiters and internal talent/HR departments only reach out to you with a position that aligns directly to your Salesforce skills and career goals?

Listed below are the top 3.5 tips to market yourself to help ensure the inquiries that you’re receiving are helping your career growth to be the best Salesforce professional you can become. I realise you’ll still get pestered about Salesforce Technical Architect positions now that you’ve recently acquired your Salesforce Administrator certification, but hopefully the concepts described below will eliminate some of your frustrations working with recruiters.

1. Your LinkedIn Headline

The 1st area that a recruiter will be looking is at your LinkedIn Headline (after seeing your pretty/handsome smile, of course). Within one sentence, less than 20 words, convey what’s unique about who you are and what you do, not just your job title. Examples such as Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer, etc. is the same title most others Salesforce professionals have. A headline telling your audience a little more about the value you provide will be much more distinct as well as help you appear confident in your profession. For example:

Senior Salesforce Developer – Providing Solutions to Customers Toughest Technical Challenges Senior Salesforce Administrator – Using Declarative Features to Solve Complex Functional Processes (Estimated Project Completion 12/31/2017) * Salesforce Lightning Analyst – Ensuring Users Understand the Value the Lightning Experience Provides (Satisfied in My Current Role) * Salesforce Architect – Providing Best in Class Solutions Around Security, Data Migration and Application Integration (Open to New Opportunity Discussions) *

*Note: If you’re currently satisfied with your current position, I suggest mentioning that. If you’re on a contract with a known end date or currently on the market, state that as well.

2. Your LinkedIn Summary

Providing more context in your LinkedIn Summary, recruiters can drill down into the details without having to read a CV/Resume. The LinkedIn Summary is where you would define what you’ve already accomplished, in addition to what a good opportunity would look like for you, especially if you have specific career goals in mind. I believe the more specific you are, the better. Additionally, this should help recruiters determine if they should contact you based on the job description they’re recruiting for, comparing it to your previous experience and ultimately, what might be of interest to you for the future.

The type of questions to answer include:

What you’ve done and what you like to do (specifics help) What your ideal position would be (industry, location, environment, remote, travel, even salary/hourly rate) Please do not contact me about (be blunt)

3. Your Resume as a LinkedIn Article

Since LinkedIn provides you the ability to publish articles, why not make your resume one of those articles and keep it up to date with your current achievements showing that you’ve worked on the latest technologies?Resume suggestions: Do not use generalities describing your experience. For example, if you’re a developer please omit statements such as: developed custom objects, fields, labels, etc. Keep your experience relevant to the type of position you’re applying for or interested in. You may want to have a few different versions of your resume based on the job description If you do not have the actual experience, don’t have it as part of your resume. A recruiter may drill down into that specific area and if you cannot speak to it, you will lose credibility Unless you’re looking to be in the same role in each of your future positions, try to show versatility demonstrating career growth The great debate of resume length will continue, more is seldom better, precision and relevancy will prevail (2 pages is optimal, 3 can be acceptable)

3.5. Your LinkedIn Introduction Video

If you really want to stand out as a top-notch Salesforce candidate, provide a 60 to 90 second introduction video summarising your experience as part of your LinkedIn profile media content. This will not only provide a recruiter or a company with your presentation and communication skills, but also the ability to articulate the specific skill set and experience you possess.

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