What’s the first thing recruiters look for in a Scrum Master resume?
Mistakes. And here’s why: you can’t tell a great Scrum Master from someone who read the Agile Manifesto five minutes ago on a paper. The difference shows in action.
Even a slight nuance gives hiring managers an easy way out. Mixing up PM and SM duties? Out. Taking credit for team efforts? Out. Too many buzzwords, e.g. “servant leadership”? Out.
Feels like a minefield, right?
We asked professional Scrum recruiters to help us navigate it.
Here’s what you’ll learn from this Scrum Master resume guide:
- What Scrum Master hiring managers are looking for in your resume
- How to write an impressive and conversion-focused Agile Scrum resume summary
- How to write a crisp but elaborate description of your work and achievements
- How to spotlight your skills as a Scrum Master
- How to take from the best resume examples to land your dream job
Scrum Master resume samples
Senior Scrum Master Resume Example and Tips
Showcase your experience as an agile and facilitator at a company level. Senior Scrum Master has the ability to guide several Scrum teams at a time, known as Scrum of Scrum. Beyond that, they make sure the entire company operates within an Agile framework to enhance the productivity of Scrum teams. The more you showcase your experience at scaling and facilitating Scrum at a company level, the better your resume looks.
Check for ATS compatibility. Writing all hard-earned experience, it's easy to forget that sometimes you need to pass the simplest ATS checks. Check the job description and implement the most relevant keywords from it in your resume.
Entry Level Scrum Master Resume Example and Tips
- Adapt any managerial or team collaboration experience. Getting Scrum-certified won’t be enough without real-life Scrum experience. But if your experience is limited, you can try framing other experiences you have. Were you a leader in a self-organized team? Did you help with the task or project evaluation? Did you help your team unearth issues that plagued their efficiency? Find relevant experiences and tailor your Junior Scrum Master resume accordingly.
- Become a Scrum advocate. Fortunately, a Scrum environment is very open and welcoming. Post on forums, create a personal Scrum blog, contribute to publications, network with other Scrum practitioners, and your reputation will play a role in your hiring.
Agile Methodology Resume Example and Tips
- Don’t feature Agile on a Resume without accomplishments. Much of resume advice suggests featuring numbers to make your resume more appealing to recruiters. You can feature many Scrum-related numbers, but conducting 25 daily stand-ups or launching 12 sprints won’t show how you helped teams or your impact. Back up every number with a team-related or business-related accomplishment.
- Consider extending your SM experience. There are cases when Scrum Master was not your job title and yet you were performing as one. If you have 3 months of SM experience on paper, but 3 years of real-world SM experience, don’t be afraid to feature the latter number. Just don’t lie on your resume. If you were a waterfall Project Manager for three years, that’s not the same thing.
How to Write a Job-Winning Scrum Master Resume
- Look out for nuances. You are NOT a project manager.
There’s a chance another Scrum Master will be reading your resume, and any inconsistencies work against you. There are entire books about the difference between Scrum Masters and PM.
Bad example: 3 years of experience in Project Management as a Scrum Master
Good example: Implemented new Agile processes across three regions and guided cross-functional teams through them
- Don’t focus on tools, best practices, and buzzwords. Focus on your contribution to the Scrum team’s efficiency.
A new Scrum Master will try to hide their inexperience behind a wall of Scrum buzzwords or tools, as there is no lack of these. A perfect candidate will shift the focus on their impact.
Bad example: Facilitated daily standups, prepped product backlogs, and forced backlog refinement using Jira and Rally
Good example: Facilitated self-managed continuous improvement for 3 Scrum development teams through targeted retrospectives in a low-trust company environment
- Win recruiters over with a smart resume format.
Use bold text to emphasize the most convincing results. Use custom sections and headers to enhance the scannability of your resume. Use a custom resume layout to keep your resume compact and guide recruiters’ attention where you want it to be.
Ensure that your resume can be printed and exported in PDF format, so recruiters can view it even during their lunch break.
See the header for a resume example that combines the best resume formatting practices to get more Scrum Master interviews.
How to choose the best Scrum Master resume layout:
You added everything—your years of experience, technical skills, and leadership capacity—to your resume.
All you want to do is impress the hiring manager.
But here’s the thing: who is actually impressed by a 10-page resume?
The old adage that says that the number of resume pages should be proportional to how many years of experience you have is a myth and fails any real test.
The ideal length of a resume is one page—two pages, maximum.
Anything more than that will negatively impact your application. Not only does the impact of your resume get diluted—you’re also making the hiring manager’s job way more difficult than it needs to be, which almost always leads to your resume being immediately discarded.
Two Scrum Master resume layouts to consider:
Both are equally good, but designing a hybrid resume layout takes a bit more creativity to get right. But when you compare it with the reverse-chronological layout, it reflects your personality better.
- Clear and legible 12p resume font size;
- Use 10’’ resume margins - that’s default for a great resume design;
- Use a one-page template resume length if you’ve got less than 10 yrs of experience; Otherwise, opt for a two-page resume;
- Pay attention to your resume spelling - don’t lose your interview chances on a technicality;
- Save your resume as PDF before sending it to the recruiter.
What should a good Scrum Master resume summary contain?
Scrum Masters are known for being precise, well-organized, and exceptionally skilled professionals.
Here are two resume summary examples that draw the line between hirable and rejectable candidates, effectively showing what you should/shouldn’t do:
Two Scrum Master resume summary examples
Notice how the second one makes a much stronger impact.
So, in general, a good resume summary should have the following:
- Years of experience working as a Scrum Master
- What your focus is (Industry, software, processes)
- Your technical skills
Learn more about building a perfect Summary section in our How to Build a Targeted Resume Summary with 83 Examples guide.
If you’re looking to craft a compelling resume objective instead, read our writing tips at 10 Resume Objective Examples You Need to Steal (How-to-Guide).
How to write a Scrum Master resume experience section:
The organization you’re applying to has been running sprints effectively, customizing scrum to their own particular needs. They’ve reached that point by continuously testing and iterating.
Their Scrum Master just left, and they’re devastated. As a result, they’re opening up a new position for candidates to apply.
But all that the hiring managers see are the same, stock Scrum Master resumes—you know, the ones that have a mediocre-generic experience that reflects none of the candidate’s skills, let alone any that come close to their previous Scrum Master.
Even if you’re good, applying with a “managed a team of engineers” type of resume experience leads to a predictable outcome: failure.
All the hiring manager wants to see is a resume that shows a professional who, with the right skills and mindset, cared for the role as much as their last Scrum Master did.
More precisely, they want to see if:
- You were a scrum owner or not
- Whether you’ve worked with geo-distributed teams
- Your experience working with cross-functional teams (engineering, business, design, etc.)
- Whether you have program management experience
That’s why you should magnify your technical skills in the bullet points. It should show the scale of your work, and the impact you made.
Check out the four resume experience examples below and try noticing the difference:
Four Scrum Master resume examples (experience)
Now that you know the perfect ingredients for making your Scrum Master resume pop, let’s move on to the next most important part of your resume: your skills.
Check out our How to Cover Work Experience On Your Resume guide for more tips on building a job-winning experience section.
How to add your skills to your Scrum Master resume:
We talked to a few hiring managers about the adding Agile on a resume, asking them what they looked for when they go through your resume. This is what they had to say:
- A good resume design/layout creates the perfect impact.
- A good resume summary indicates relevance and passion.
- Resume experience reflects what an applicant actually did in his current and past roles.
After that, hiring managers look to gather some information on the applicant’s skills.
Essentially, it boils down to the following question: are you the skilled Scrum Master that they’ve been looking for all this time? If you focus on the above, the answer can only be yes.
Seal the deal with strong action verbs that will make the hiring manager realize your potential. Check: 125 Easy Resume Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Better.
No experience in Scrum? Fret not. See how to build your resume with entry-level knowledge about the job: Resume Without Work Experience: 6+ Sections to Demonstrate Impact.
Top 25 Scrum Master resume skills:
These are some of the common skills that we’ve observed to be good fits for a typical Scrum Master resume.
- Idea systems
- Backlog management
- PM tools: JIRA cloud site, nTask, Vivifyscrum
- User stories
- Sprint planning
- Coaching agile practices
- Removing impediments
- Retrospective meetings
- Team building
- Measuring team velocity
- Release planning
- Team Management
- Agile coaching
- Continuous improvement
- Waterfall migration
- Burndown charts
- Quality control
- Interpersonal skills
- Requirement gathering
But keep the following in mind: you should really focus on selecting a handful of those that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Are you still not sure what skills will win recruiters over? Check out our guide on How to Create A Resume Skills Section To Impress Recruiters (+10 Examples You Need to See).
Certifications for your Scrum Master resume:
If you have any Scrum Master certifications, you know their value already.
Certifications deserve a special place on your resume. Make sure to create a new section and add your certifications there.
For more information on how to properly list resume certifications, we recommend reading our guide How To List Certifications On A Resume (Examples Included).
Should you add your education to your Scrum Master resume?
For hiring managers, especially if they are HR recruiters, your educational qualifications matter a lot.
Someone from a tech background can easily digest your experiences, skills, and certifications and see if you’re up to the job or not.
HR recruiters find it helpful if they see that a candidate has been through a formal IT education.
There are good and bad ways to do everything on your resume. Your education section is the same. Check out a few examples below, and try to spot the odd one out:
Scrum Master resume examples [Education]:
You have to ask yourself: do you think it’s actually relevant to talk about your OpenCV projects after you’ve been working in the industry for 10 years?
As mentioned above, adding a lot of information to your resume is a classic graduate-level resume mistake. Most recruiters won’t waste their time contacting you if they’re overburdened with information.
If you’re a more experienced candidate, your work should do most of the talking In this case, mentioning your degree is more than enough.
In just one glance, a recruiter going over your resume knows that you have the right educational background.
Browse more essential tips on how to feature education on your resume, in our guide Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume.
Other sections to include on your resume
Depending on the company, job seniority level and your location, you may want to include more sections to your Scrum Methodology resume:
- Language skills
- Hobbies and interests
- Volunteer work
- LinkedIn on Resume
- Contact Info on Resume
- Resume Awards
What else should go on a resume? Peruse our guide: What to Put On A Resume: Everything You Need to Include.
Cover Letter for a Scrum Master Job
In case the job description says you need to provide a cover letter, do include yours. Otherwise, you can always leave it out.
Nowadays, job application forms include questions like “why do you want to work here”, or “explain why you’re the best fit for us”, which makes you wonder are cover letters really necessary?
Still, they help you tell your story in a way that, if written right, it’s captivating and engaging.
In any case, you should pay close attention to the following tips when a cover letter is a must:
- Make sure you go over a cover letter checklist, not to forget what your cover letter should say;
- Match the cover letter design with your resume’s;
- Address your cover letter properly;
- Keep an eye on your cover letter length;
- Use a proper cover letter ending;
If you need more inspiration for a [job title] cover letter, check out this example Agile/Scrum cover letter.
Thoughts? More questions? Check out our guide: How to Write a Great Resume for a Job in 2022.
Key Takeaways: What makes a great Certified Scrum Master resume?
- Focus on a reverse chronological Agile Scrum resume with minimal length.
- Make sure your resume summary is impactful and contains your experience, numbers and figures.
- Show the impact of your work, and establish yourself as Scrum Leader in the experience section.
- Add skills and certifications to your resume.
- Don’t forget about your education section—but keep it tidy and relevant.