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You Don’t Have to be a Consultant to Get Certified!

Posted by David White, Consultant

When it comes to handling a full-scale Salesforce implementation, your best bet is to reach out to a talented partner like Buan. But whether you want to handle quick, day-to-day Salesforce tasks, or if you want to learn more about the platform in general, you should consider preparing for various Salesforce Certifications in your spare time.

The Salesforce Certification home page makes it easy to prepare and register for exams


Why Get Certified?

For Salesforce professionals (administrators, consultants, developers, architects), certifications signify that you’ve perfected the platform’s applications to a certain degree. Certified Sales Cloud Consultants typically have experience implementing Salesforce in a sales-heavy organization; certified Administrators are the experts of user creation, basic app building, record sharing, security and other everyday Salesforce functions. Regardless of specialty, certifications can give professionals an edge when it comes to job applications or project assignments.

Salesforce also considers the number of certified professionals belonging to a company as part of its partner program – the more certs, the better! If you’re hoping to do more with Salesforce – whether as an organization or as an individual – then getting certified is a necessary step. You might also learn a thing or two about the platform in the process!

Certifications make a nice addition to your LinkedIn profile!

What Doesn’t Work?

The Salesforce exams are difficult, to say the least, and I can safely say there are a few methods that haven’t done the trick for preparation. Flash cards and exam dumps (sometimes hosted on sites such as Quizlet) for your specific exam could be entirely wrong. Many of these practice questions end up being out of date, incorrect or utterly illegible. The same could be said about outdated blogs: a supported feature in 2012 might have been deprecated by 2017, or vice versa. Lastly, just studying also doesn’t work well for the exams. While I recommend all examinees run through the exam’s study guide on the page for each certification, textbook knowledge alone won’t be enough to get you through most of the exams. Use Trailhead and practice in a Developer Org in conjunction with studying for the best chance of success.

What’s Worked?

As mentioned earlier, check out the Trailhead exercises that are appropriate for your exam. The Trailhead website groups modules by product, skill level and user role, all of which will help you narrow down the right path to success. There are also several reputable blogs out there such as Salesforce Ben’s website, which will provide you with excellent commentary on the exams from experienced professionals. Some of these pages will have full-length practice exams meant to gauge your readiness for the real thing. Google is also your friend! Typing “How do I set Organization Wide Defaults in Salesforce” into Google will point you to resources (likely from Salesforce’s Help and Training Page) to help answer your question within seconds. And if you want a personalized answer from the population of experts, look to the Salesforce Success Community!

Salesforce’s Trailhead site guides you through scenarios and quizzes to help you succeed!

Exam Gotchas

Every Salesforce exam, no matter the specialization, is meant to trick you. The questions use precise wording to ensure that you’ve read every single part of the question and answer. For instance, a question will reference Community Manager, and at least one answer will discuss an unrelated Community Builder feature; without having read the question and corresponding answers in full, you might answer the question too quickly and miss out on a valuable point. In some cases, the exam asks you which answer(s) is most correct – not necessarily the only correct one. Exam questions might be looking for the most efficient or easiest answer to a problem, even if multiple answers are technically correct. Thoroughly reading through the questions and understanding exactly what the exam is asking will help you earn more points toward a certification.

If you’d like to talk more about certifications and training, feel free to shoot a note to David White, our consultant and Trailhead enthusiast, at [email protected]. Or if you’d like Buan to help with your upcoming Salesforce implementation, email our VP of Sales Keith Schmidt at [email protected].