To many employers, certifications are the only way to truly determine that a candidate possess the skills listed on their resume without going through an incredibly lengthy vetting process. Thankfully, Salesforce offers multiple levels of certifications to help those in the Salesforce career space prove their skills.
One of the essential building blocks of a Salesforce professional are certifications and people are getting more and more to look attractive and valuable to prospective employers. A certification can go a LONG way if it’s a pay increase you’re after (who isn’t?).
Oftentimes, the Admin certification is one of the first certifications a Salesforce professional will attempt to achieve but DO NOT BE FOOLED. Just because it is first, does not mean it is easy. Hours of study, practice, and focus will be paramount to passing any Salesforce certification.
Here are a few ways to come prepared to your certification exam:
Download and Memorize the Study Guide
If you have not downloaded the Salesforce published study guide, check it out here: Study Guide. After you download it, print it, yes PRINT it out (a few pieces of paper won’t hurt anyone) and read it top to bottom and complete the practice test at the bottom – don’t worry at this point how you do.
The guide gives breakdown of the high level requirements of the exam as well as the weighted test percentage of each.
Memorize each section, creating a page in a document for each
· Organization Setup (3%)
· User Setup (6%)
· Security and Access (14%)
· Standard and Custom Objects (15%)
· Sales and Marketing Applications (15%)
· Service and Support Applications (12%)
· Activity Management and Collaboration (3%)
· Data Management (8%)
· Analytics – Reports and Dashboards (10%)
· Workflow/Process Automation (12%)
· Desktop and Mobile Administration (1%)
Use the documents to store study material, notes and relevant information for each topic. This way, when you self-assess later on, you can go back and expand on the areas you struggle in.
Salesforce provides some certification study material and an awesome education platform called Trailhead which allows users to learn everything from core concepts to advanced development all while getting hands on experience with their own Salesforce Sandbox.
Trailhead comes with multiple ways to learn
a) Modules – Learning material for a specific topic (example: Advanced Formulas)
b) Trails – Modules that are grouped by a broader subject area (example: Admin Beginner)
c) Projects – Hands-on Practice (example: Build a Conference Management App)
d) Trailmix – Customized or user created mixes of trails (example: Build your Sales Career on Salesforce)
To study for the Salesforce Admin Exam, I recommend taking the Admin Beginner trail. Even if you think you already know some of the subject matter, it will never hurt to go over things again! While taking the Admin Beginning trail, take note of anything that doesn’t make complete sense and later look for modules or projects that give you more practice on those topics.
Trailhead is truly essential for any Salesforce professional to stay relevant.
Never underestimate the power of online learning resources! There are tons of videos available about Salesforce and specifically, Salesforce Administration. Udemy is an awesome online learning platform that offers lifetime access to multiple courses. SELF PROMOTION ALERT: I recently created a MASSIVE online learning course on Udemy for just this subject: Preparing for the Salesforce Admin Certification Exam. I include 15 hours of on-demand video, notes, and practice tests. Check it out at 90% off here: Saleforce Certified Administrator
Although these paid, online courses typically offer the most content, there is always YouTube!
I will always mention Salesforce Ben in these articles because he has an awesome blog that has been instrumental in my Salesforce career. There are several blogs on Salesforce Administration, including an awesome test exam.
Think Real World
Preparing for the exam will require more than just memorizing possible questions and answers. The exam is very much framed in real-life scenarios. As you go through study material, constantly think how you would apply what you learned and why. This little exercise will go a long way!
The demand for Salesforce professionals is growing very rapidly, far beyond the current supply. As the supply starts to grow, being certified will definitely be a way to differentiate yourself from others.