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Get Ready for Your Career

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Create an effective elevator pitch.
  • Polish your personal brand on social media.
  • Update or create your rĂ©sumĂ©.
  • Connect to opportunities.

Show Off Your Skills

Now that you’ve started to build your skills, it’s time to present yourself and your skills to potential employers and make sure your personal presence is amazing both in person and online, so you can land an amazing job or internship.

Create Your “Elevator Pitch”

You never know whom you’ll end up with in an elevator. If you wanted to work somewhere and ended up in the elevator with the CEO of the company, wouldn’t you want to pitch them on the idea of hiring you?

That’s where the elevator pitch comes in. It’s a 30-second story of who you are and what you want to do. It usually ends with a specific ask or request. It’s your personal “commercial” and something that you should hone and practice until you can deliver it smoothly.

You may have slightly different versions of your pitch depending on whom you are talking to, but the basic structure is the same.

Elements to Include Examples

Who are you? What is your goal?

  • I’m a sixth-grader who is passionate about sports and technology and want to learn more…
  • I’m a recent high school graduate looking for an internship…
  • I’m computer science major looking for a development job when I graduate in June…

Why are you pursuing this goal? What is your motivation?

  • I am in an after-school technology program and have been using Scratch to build apps and love it.
  • I work on my high school newspaper and do a lot of writing as well as promotions and social media. I want to learn more and see if this is a path I want to pursue…
  • I’ve been interested in computers for as long as I can remember and love solving problems with code.

What are the skills/strengths you bring? What is your key differentiator? 

  • I’m an excellent writer, and I’m also experienced with publishing software such as Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.
  • I built an app for my university to track the availability of computers across all the campus computer labs, and it’s still being used.

What is your ask? Or, what are the next steps?

  • I would love to get your business card and follow up to ask you a few questions.
  • Do you have any recommendations for people I could speak with?
  • Can I schedule an informational interview with you to learn more about your role and your career path?

Polish Your Personal Brand

Your social media presence is the new résumé. Whether you are applying to a school or for a scholarship, internship, or job, chances are someone will look to social media to learn more about you. So it’s important to make sure your social media profiles are top notch and that your personal brand is epic, amazing, and every bit as professionally compelling as you are in real life.

Select a great photo to use in your social media profiles. It doesn’t have to be a fancy headshot (although if you have one that’s great), but make sure you:

DO THIS… NOT THAT…

Make sure your profile picture:

  • Looks like you
  • Is clear and in focus
  • Is high resolution (1400 x 425 pixels)

Make sure your profile picture does not:

  • Include other people
  • Look out of focus, blurry, or pixelated
  • Contain anything unprofessional or overly casual

Trailhead Profile

Your Trailhead profile is a great place to show off your badges and skills. Add a photo and use some version of your newly perfected elevator pitch for your bio to complete your profile.

Twitter

You may want to consider creating a Twitter profile to learn about areas of interest to you as well as establish your brand. The Salesforce community is on Twitter, so it’s definitely a great place look for news and information about all things Salesforce.

DO THIS… NOT THAT…

Twitter handle

Choose a Twitter handle that  represents you professionally.

  • One option is to use some version of your name, for example: @SusanSmith.
  • Or, use a handle that identifies your area of expertise, for example: @SusanCRMpro.

Don’t use a handle that could be considered offensive.

Profile

Use a professional photo.

Use your 160 character bio to describe your key skills and accomplishments. 

Include a link to your LinkedIn profile or perhaps another site, like a portfolio, where employers can learn more.

Don’t write your personal memoir.

Don’t leave it blank or empty, and don’t sell yourself short.

Content

If you are looking for a job, tweet primarily about things that relate to that role or industry.

Follow people and companies you are interested in.

If you are looking for a job, don’t tweet about inappropriate things. (Set up two accounts if you want to do a lot of personal tweeting.)

LinkedIn

You may not be ready to set up a LinkedIn profile yet, but once you start thinking about applying for jobs or even applying for college, it can be good idea to establish your professional profile on LinkedIn. The great news is that you can show off all the skills you’ve acquired on Trailhead by displaying your badges and superbadges directly on your LinkedIn profile.

Here are some additional tips for creating a great LinkedIn profile:

DO THIS… NOT THAT…

Job title and headline

If you are a student or are looking for a job, use your headline to talk about what you are excited about and want to do in the future.

It’s common sense, but your job title and headline shouldn’t lie. Tell it like it is. It’s a small world out there—you’d be surprised how many connections you share with others. So keep it honest.

Summary section

Use your elevator pitch to summarize who you are, your key skills, and where you want to go.

Be sure to list any awards, speaking opportunities, or leadership positions you’ve held in your extracurricular activities.

Don’t write your personal memoir.

Don’t leave it blank or empty, and don’t sell yourself short.

Don’t include anything that seems outlandish or too personal.

Certifications

Display your Trailhead badges and any other certifications you’ve acquired.

Don’t add things that aren’t relevant to your career goals and might confuse the viewer.

Cartoon of résumé checklist

Create or Update Your Resume

Have you already created a résumé? If not, there are many free templates available to get you started. Pick a simple template in your favorite word processing program--it doesn’t have to be fancy. If you already have one, get ready to dust it off and add your newly acquired skills.

If your school has a career services office, consider getting your résumé reviewed by a professional or attending a workshop. They can offer valuable advice on what employers and recruiters look for.

The most important thing is to make sure you proofread your résumé carefully. Have a friend or family member read it over if you can. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity just because you missed a typo!

Here are a few additional tips for creating a rockstar résumé:

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Use action verbs

Trained 500 users on new sales processes.

Responsible for end user training.

Highlight accomplishments

Designed an automated lead qualification process using Salesforce that resulted in XYZ.

Automated processes using Salesforce.

Be accurate

Include dates for each position you’ve held.

Don’t leave out information.

Don’t lie or provide incorrect information.

Search for Opportunities

To empower the next generation of students, Salesforce partners with several great nonprofit organizations that provide paid work experience and educational opportunities for students age 14 to 24. Find out more about these programs and the application requirements here.

University students should also check out #Futureforce, Salesforce’s global university recruiting program. Our interns and new graduates work on real projects that affect how our business runs. Search for internships at Salesforce and learn more about the program here.

Apply for a Job or Internship

Once you’ve identified an opportunity that you want to apply for, search on LinkedIn to see if there is anyone in your network who works at that company who could provide more information or a recommendation or introduction.

Review the company’s website and social media to learn more about the company’s business, culture, and products or services.

Create a cover letter tailored to that job posting. Make sure you address how you fulfill the specific skills and competencies the employer is looking for--using the language they have used. Update your résumé as needed to better target your experience to the posting.  And remember to proofread your cover letter just as carefully as you did your résumé.

Resources

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