Which comes first — experience or the job? Trailhead’s Build Your Personal Portfolio on Salesforce project is a great way to dive into more detail than you could on a resume or CV while using the very platform you’re trying to prove you know.
In today’s accelerated digital transformation, Trailhead is focused on empowering anyone to learn the skills needed to transform their career or reskill at their current company. Career transitions are not always smooth, especially now when there seem to be more hurdles than ever.
When an opportunity does come knocking, it can be hard to prove you can do the job without experience. But, with a little creativity, there is a way to do just that.
The Trailhead Build Your Personal Portfolio on Salesforce badge walks you through a hands-on task of building a website using the Salesforce Platform to showcase your achievements and skills to potential employers. That’s so meta!
Discover what makes a great portfolio, why employers value it, and how Trailblazers have already leveraged this valuable badge to help advance their careers in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Use these four tips to help you create a standout portfolio.
1. Tell your story
In 2019, Trailblazer Abdul Sultani happened upon a discovery that would forever change the trajectory of his professional life.
As an Uber driver in San Francisco, Abdul found himself picking up Dreamforce attendees and dropping them off at the 2019 conference.
“Driving Uber changed my life… My riders told me about Salesforce and Trailhead programs. It was then that I became determined to be a Salesforce Admin. I started studying Trailhead modules. In four months, I was able to become a Certified Salesforce Admin.”
Abdul, who is currently studying for his Salesforce Developer certification and training with the Salesforce Pathfinder Program, is able to share his story and his journey from one culture (and country) to the next, on his portfolio site.
He recalls, “My life was riddled with hardships in Afghanistan, hoping to find a better life in America. I moved to the United States, San Diego city, in Jan 2014.”
By telling his story, a glimpse into his personal and professional life, Abdul allows all who view his site — recruiters, prospective employers, Trailblazers — to get a real sense of who he is, where he’s been, and where he’s going.
“When a recruiter is searching for a candidate, if they don’t have this more robust picture of you, it makes it harder to tell whether you’d be a good fit for the role. With a portfolio, you’re able to show recruiters a fuller picture of yourself.”
And this fuller picture helps the job seeker and the recruiter. Karen shares,
“I’m a unicorn hunter, looking for people who have the right skill set and work well within our culture and values. A portfolio that shows me all of this — your whole self — gets me interested, starts the conversation, and helps me narrow the time spent sorting through applicants.”
2. Spotlight your skill set
Having a portfolio that highlights your skills, regardless of whether or not you have direct Salesforce experience, helps you stand out. Cate Robbie, Director of Human Resources at Salesforce Partner NuAge Experts, explains,
“Actions speak louder than words, so showing what you can do is good to help yourself stand out. The right portfolio will give me visibility into someone’s strengths and technical skills that are transferable to Salesforce.”
In fact, Cate says, “Out of our entire development team, so far, only two people have joined NuAge Experts with any previous Salesforce experience. Developers new to Salesforce were able to show us other transferable skills and successfully demonstrated their passion for Salesforce.”
CodeScience’s Karen adds,
“If someone describes themselves as a Salesforce geek, that’s a good sign. It’s also important to share superbadges, certifications, and Trailblazer rank. And I love the projects tab [on a portfolio site]. I’m not guessing by just looking at a resume. I can see, through their projects, what someone’s skill set is.”
Trailblazer Kelly Michael Skelton concurs, “If you can’t display projects you’ve already done, it’s hard for a company to put that trust in you.”
A year ago, Kelly was seeking a role in the Salesforce ecosystem. To demonstrate his skill set, he shared his Trailblazer.me profile with prospective employers and, in time, landed his current position as a Director of Digital Transformation.
Kelly now shares a link to his Trailblazer profile on his portfolio site that he built using the Build Your Personal Portfolio on Salesforce project.
“It’s great because it gives you the ability to demonstrate something hands-on. That’s what excites me the most. And, once the module ends, you can then make your own [portfolio]. It’s always available to update, and it can grow with you on your journey.”
3. Be creative
Trailblazer Jessica Mills — a senior at Pikes Peak Community College (Colorado Springs) and Salesforce Platform App Builder, Administrator, and Advanced Administrator certified — believes that employers like to hire people who have a desire to learn new things and can demonstrate a different viewpoint.
“Building a portfolio lets you have fun and unleash your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. It helps you showcase your unique perspective.”
And Jessica has done just that on her portfolio site, sharing everything from her certifications and honours to her website design work, featuring her passion for creativity and storytelling.
“With my portfolio, I can go beyond my LinkedIn profile, showcasing my work more in-depth than I can on LinkedIn. And I can include a link on my resume so employers can check it out.”
And Abdul, Uber driver turned Salesforce Administrator, also takes innovative thinking to the next level by using Salesforce to track his job search and displaying it on his portfolio site. He shares,
“One of the reasons I created a portfolio is because I wanted to stand out. I can show to potential employers that, while I don’t have Salesforce experience, I can think out-of-the-box and create a portfolio that shows I do have the skills that it takes.”
What’s more, as a trainee at Climb Hire, an organization that trains working adults to be Salesforce Administrators, Abdul’s fellow trainees, or Climbers, were so inspired by his portfolio that they asked him for help with building their own.
“When I created my portfolio and presented it as part of a Climb Hire class, everyone was like, ‘Whoa, Abdul, this is really cool’ […] and I held a Zoom meeting and invited them all, and I helped them.”
4. Highlight your values
When you feature your values on your portfolio, you give potential employers and recruiters a sense of what’s important to you. Cate, NuAge Experts’ HR Director, suggests,
“Show who you are as a person, too. Highlight ways you care about your community — your values could match a prospective company’s values.”
Trailblazer Jessica agrees and connects her volunteer experience back to her Salesforce background.
“Giving back to my community is one of my core values on my portfolio site.”
By highlighting her volunteer work, Jessica also touches on how she might stand out among others by linking her passion with her Salesforce work.
She explains, “I am currently volunteering as a Salesforce Administrator for the Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference. In 2019, I helped the local volunteer coordinator at the National Alliance on Mental Illness learn how to use Salesforce and navigate the new Salesforce Community.”
It’s time to stand out
A portfolio is an excellent way to stand out, even if you don’t have experience yet. Tell your story, share your skill set, be creative, and highlight your values — this will help create a stellar portfolio that sets you apart, allowing you to supercharge your career journey.
For more valuable ways to stand out in the Salesforce ecosystem, check out these 3 Insider Tips. And visit Trailblazer Connect to find your next opportunity, get career-ready, and network with fellow Trailblazers, mentors, and employers.
Ready to create your own personal portfolio site on Salesforce? You’ve got this, Trailblazer!