Tips & Tricks to Land a Job in the Salesforce Ecosystem
Tips & Tricks to Land a Job in the Salesforce Ecosystem

Tips & Tricks to Land a Job in the Salesforce Ecosystem

12/20/2019 by Iva Mandic
In this post I’ll tell you about the path that led me to land a job in the Salesforce ecosystem with some tips on why and how you can do it too.

Are you graduating this semester? Considering a new career move in the new year? As a New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Salesforce student group leader and someone who began a full-time job six months before graduation, I wanted to help others by sharing some tips and tricks on how to find that dream job. Free yourself from the stress we all know can sabotage a school year you are supposed to enjoy and consider these takeaways from lessons I learned along the way.

1. Know Where to Start & Why Salesforce

Senior year is when stress about the future can begin to set in—what am I going to do? Where am I going to go? Actually, for me, this began my junior year. I knew my goal was to get a job in my dream city—New York City. Then I asked myself, how can I achieve this? Well, first I did some market research and found a 2017 White Paper from John F. Gantz that predicted the Salesforce ecosystem was set to make a substantial leap in growth by 2022. 

Further research led to the discovery that Salesforce had pioneered a 1-1-1 Philanthropy Model where they pledge 1% of equity, product, and employee time back into the community. From early on I was taught by my parents that doing good and helping others will at some point in time and in some shape bring good to you. I found myself associating with this vision. (Later on, I discovered Arkus also has pledged their commitment to the 1-1-1 model.)

Once I learned that Salesforce also had a Tower in NYC, my plan was in place. It was time to move to the next step and begin to brainstorm what I would need to achieve to be a part of this growing Salesforce ecosystem. To start, I would need some experience and to see if I would actually like this thing called Salesforce. I decided to look for an internship. This brings me to my first recommendation.

Follow-up/Takeaway: Set goals, do the research, and plan ahead. 

2. Take The First Step and You Will Be Hooked

My first action was to get involved in the Martin Tuckman School of Management Business Analytics Laboratory, which is run by an amazing group of people. The team includes Billy McMdermott, who helped me secure an internship at ConnectOne Bank. To prepare for this opportunity and make sure I was qualified I turned to Trailhead. Trailhead is a fun and interactive way to learn Salesforce that importantly—especially for myself and other college students on a budget—is free! 

This is where my Salesforce journey took off. I was also fortunate enough to work with and be motivated by an awesome admin, the true MVP Sandy Nuss Zellner. Sandy inspired me with her life-changing story, introduced me to the world of swag, taught amazing Salesforce lessons, and most importantly, connected me with the Trailblazer Community. I could talk about my experience here in five blog posts but for the sake of this one, I will stop here and draw your attention to my next tip:

Follow-ups/ takeaway: Attack your plan and get involved.

3. You Like It? Go Get It!

After going through my internship and becoming more familiar with Salesforce as a platform and a company, it was clear to me that Salesforce not only makes a product to admire, they are also socially responsible and working to make the world a better place. What I admired most was the culture, what Salesforce calls Ohana. 

You can read all about it here, but I will give you an overview of their core values: trust, customer success, innovation, and equality. These are the values they expect everyone in the Salesforce family to uphold. That these are not just empty words can be seen in the fact that Salesforce is #1 on the Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For" List

In order to take the next step toward my goal of full-time employment, the NJIT Salesforce Student group was reformed with my fellow students Shravanthi Budhi, Amber Morgan, and Rosa Moss, from whom Shravanthi and Amber became great friends of mine and I can’t thank enough for their support. The four of us, with the great support of MTSM faculty and staff, brought more people into the program and our group started to be noticed in the school and in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

The mission of this program at NJIT is to educate students about the opportunities in the ecosystem and to help them network with people who can help connect us with these opportunities. This includes hosting Salesforce information sessions, career panels, boot camps, coordinating visits to the Salesforce Tower in NYC, and bringing students to the user groups and conferences like Salesforce World Tour. 

Follow-up/Takeaway: Surround yourself with good people who will help you reach your goals. 

4. Want to Better Yourself? Ask For Help!

As you continue along on the path to success, resume and LinkedIn profile building come into play. I recommend attending the resume sessions your school has where professionals will review your resume and give you feedback. I was lucky to have NJIT Alumni and professor Alex Blinder help me consolidate and follow best practices to rebuild my resume and LinkedIn profile and practice a mock interview session. 

You should not hesitate to show your resume to your professors, friends, and family. Ask them to read it and give you feedback. Be ready to modify it based on their suggestions, the needs of the company, and the position you are applying for. Highlight your trailhead badges, superbadges, certifications, and most importantly, once you land the interview—practice, practice, practice. Practice in front of the mirror, in front of friends, over the phone, in your sleep (because sometimes you might even dream about it). 

Follow-up/Takeaway: Seek feedback from the professionals and practice, practice, practice. 

P.S. Don’t forget about that thank you note—use LinkedIn to follow up with every interviewer and don’t hesitate to go the extra mile and handwrite it if you have their address.

5. Opportunity: Closed Won

It was December 18th and 20°F in New York City. It was the day of the NYC World Tour. I had a 6 am early conditioning practice for the NJIT volleyball team and as luck would have it, I sprained my ankle that morning. Even though it screamed for ice and rest and the possibility loomed that putting weight on it would put my playing in the next game at risk, I couldn’t shake the feeling I would be missing out on my next big opportunity if I didn’t make it to the World Tour. I trusted my gut and took an early train into NY with a few Salesforce student group team members. From the train station, I walked as best I could to the Javits Center. 

The mini-career fair was one of the first sessions that cold morning and where I met Justin Edelstein, co-founder and CAO of Arkus, Inc., and Ryan Owens, who heads up the team I now work on. I landed an interview with Arkus that day and the rest is history. I am an Arkus Project Manager now—a proud Arky and honestly, there is no other place I’d rather be. How have other team members ended at Arkus? Arkus Project Manager Sam Safin shares the story of swapping firefighting for nonprofit consulting in this interview with the Formstack team. Veteran Hayley Tuller made the move from US Navy Linguist to Salesforce admin and you can read her story to learn more about what an Arkus Admin’s day-to-day looks like in this post on the Vetforce blog.

Do you want to be successful? Do you want to land that job early and secure your future? Do you think all the luck I mentioned in this post was really just luck? You might think so, but remember, if you don’t show up, there will be no opportunity for “the luck” to do its job. 

To sum it all up in my final takeaway: Prepare yourself and most importantly, seize every opportunity to network, network, network.

Do you want to secure your dream job right after graduation? You didn’t have a chance to network? Seize it now ––tell me about your inspirations, aspirations, and struggles on the Salesforce Success Community, or tweet directly on me Twitter @iva_mandic7