How to Differentiate Yourself as a Salesforce Admin

Flower standing out in crowd

Finding any entry level Salesforce job is not easy. Yes, having your Salesforce certification helps, but you can still find yourself applying to job after job with no luck.

So, what can you do?

How do you stand out amongst the crowd of newly certified Salesforce Admins, who are all in the same boat as you looking for their first Salesforce Admin job?

Here’s a couple of secrets we have when it comes to differentiating yourself from the rest of the job market.

Do Real World Projects as a Substitute for Practical Experience

If you’ve been applying for Salesforce Admin roles or entry level Salesforce jobs, you’ll know all too well the experience of hiring managers telling you to go out and get some experience first.

However, both you and I know that this is a paradox which is hard to break. To get a job, you need some experience. To get some experience, you need to get a job. It’s a chicken-and-egg cycle that makes it hard for you to figure which to do first!

So how can you gain practical experience without needing to get a job?

The answer is in doing real-world Salesforce projects.

Real-world projects let you work on open-ended problems with a company or organization’s Salesforce Org. Unlike going through Trailhead, where you’re told step by step what to do, real-world projects let you design the solution based on what you think is most appropriate.

Working on these real-world Salesforce projects is the best way to stand out as employers will see that you’ve got that much needed practical experience which they crave. By designing, building, and managing solutions within Salesforce, Admins can demonstrate their skills to potential employers and stand out from other entry-level candidates. Compared to the rest of the Salesforce Admins you’re competing against, you’ve got both the certification and some practical experience under your belt.

Finding Real-World Projects

Going through the effort of reaching out to a whole bunch of companies and asking whether you can write up a case study for a Salesforce project takes a lot of effort. Your best bet is to find online Salesforce courses out there which already include a real-world project as part of their course offering.

Our courses at NextWork include a real-world Salesforce project as part of our Zero to 100 Salesforce Admin course. Every students has the opportunity to build an end-to-end solution for a real company and solve a problem in their Salesforce Org. Students have free reign to develop whatever they think is best, as they’re working from a brief, rather than having step-by-step instructions laid out for them like with Trailhead.

Volunteer Work for Not-For-Profits

Alternatively, you can do volunteer work for a charity or not-for-profit, which is much better than doing unpaid work for a for-profit company. By doing volunteer work, you'll develop skills that you can demonstrate to potential employers and gain valuable experience that will set you apart from other entry-level candidates.

Find some local charities and not-for-profits and reach out to them, asking if you can help them out on a discrete task or project. It’s important that you explain you’re only looking to gain some experience to help you find an entry-level Salesforce job. Set the expectations upfront and be clear about how much time you’re committing. After all, you are giving up your time to do work for free.

Volunteer work for a not-for-profit or charity is far more ideal than for a company. Not-for-profits will appreciate your generosity and respect what you’re offering, meaning that they’ll be more willing to work with you.

Doing unpaid work for companies can quickly blur the lines between what is expected of you, leaving you vulnerable to be taken advantage of. Companies may end up treating you like an in-house employee and demand more than you’re willing to give up. On the other hand, they could leave you on the wayside if they don’t respect your time and generosity.

Develop an Understanding of Sales

While the entry-level Salesforce jobs you’re looking for are likely to be related to Admin-work, at the end of the day, Salesforce is a platform that supports sales, marketing and customer service operations. Salesforce Admins who have a deep understanding of sales can better tailor the platform to the business's specific needs. Understanding sales processes and how Salesforce can be used to support them can set Salesforce Admins apart from others.

Spend some time in Trailhead understanding the sales process. Make sure you learn the difference between B2B and B2C sales, the different stages of a deal and some of the KPIs that Sales people work towards.

Being able to communicate your knowledge of sales in your interview shows the hiring manager that you’re a well-rounded Salesforce Admin who can empathize with the Sales team. After all, the Sales team is your end-user who you are designing for, so being able to communicate in their language, understand their motives and recognize who you’re building for will help you stand out. By developing a deep understanding of sales, Salesforce Admins can better align Salesforce with the business's goals and improve the overall performance of the platform.

Focus on Your Unique Soft Skills

Salesforce Admins need more than just technical skills. They need to have excellent communication and collaboration skills to work with other teams and stakeholders. The ability to manage projects, prioritize tasks, and solve problems are also essential soft skills for Salesforce Admins. Highlighting these unique soft skills can make you stand out from the rest of the newly certified Admins looking for entry level Salesforce jobs.

Unlike technical skills, soft skills are much harder to learn. For most, soft skills are a combination of one’s personality and characteristics. Rather than trying to work on new soft skills while you’re looking for a job, spend some time to deeply think about what unique soft skills you have, and how to best communicate them in a compelling way.

Sit down and write out some of your traits and working habits. Ask your friends, family and former colleagues to describe you, particularly what its like working with you on certain tasks. Formulate what you think are your strongest soft skills, and make sure to focus on them in your interviews.

Highlight Any Transferable Skills You Have

Even if you're coming from a different industry or have limited experience, there may be skills from your previous roles that are transferable to a Salesforce Admin position. For example, if you have experience in customer service, you can highlight those skills and show how they can be applied to a Salesforce Admin role. You’ll know exactly what a prospect or paying customer goes through when thinking about making a purchase and common problems that they run into that stop them from buying.

If you come from a retail or hospitality background, highlight that you’re a great communicator, work well in a team and are used to working under pressure. Don’t overlook some of the amazing skills you’ve built up in other industries! These transferrable skills not only demonstrate your ability to adapt and learn quickly, but also show a great sense of self-awareness, which is a valuable trait for any entry-level position


In conclusion, finding an entry-level Salesforce job can be challenging, but there are ways to set yourself apart from other candidates. Doing real-world projects, volunteering for not-for-profits, developing an understanding of sales, focusing on your unique soft skills, and highlighting any transferable skills you have can all make you stand out from the crowd. By taking these steps, you can differentiate yourself and increase your chances of landing your first entry-level Salesforce Admin job.