What’s the first thing recruiters look for in a Scrum Master resume?
And here’s why you can 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 to toss your resume 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
Below you'll find scrum master resume examples based on years of experience and prevalent methodology. You can use them as a base for your resume easily by clicking the button.
Senior scrum master resume example and tips
- Showcase your experience as an agile and facilitator at a company level. A 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 check. Check the job description and implement the most relevant keywords from it in your resume.
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 scrum master experience on paper, but 3 years of real-world scrum master 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.
Hiring managers agree you should wait between 1 and 2 weeks before you follow up on your application. Read more about how to follow up on a job application in our guide.
How to Write a Job-Winning Scrum Master Resume
Let's go over a few tips that will help you write a winning resume for your next job application.
1. 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 will work against you. There are entire books about the difference between scrum masters and project managers.
- 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.
2. 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 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 three scrum development teams through targeted retrospectives in a low-trust company environment
3. Win recruiters over with a smart resume format
Use bold text to emphasize the most convincing results. Use custom sections and headings to enhance the scannability of your resume. Play around with the 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.
Use a resume header that combines the best resume formatting practices to get more Scrum Master interviews.
4. Use the right scrum master resume length
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. You can have a two-page resume when you have more than a decade of experience but don't go over that amount of pages.
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.
Take a look at our one-page resume templates if you're having a hard time fitting your career on a single page.
5. Two scrum master resume layouts to consider
Both are equally good, however 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.
Here are more resume tips regarding your layout and style:
- 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 and shouldn’t do.
Notice how the second example makes a much stronger impact. Here's why it's a good resume summary:
- The applicant specified their years of experience working as a Scrum Master;
- You know what their focus is (Industry, software, processes);
- Their technical skills are visible from the get-go.
You don't get any of that information from the wrong example, and yet, it's still being widely met in scrum master resumes.
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
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.
- Managed an agile team of four big data developers.
- Managed four projects using Agile Scrum methodologies.
- Reduced project lead cycles and improved efficiency.
- Led three Product teams’ transition to Agile development in 2 months.
- SM for five geographically distributed teams and managed planning, backlog grooming, and TDD implementation.
- Customized Scrum and crafted an in-house version specifically for Nike teams.
- Responsible for release train management: dependencies, challenges and risks.
- Product ownership: created comprehensive functional requirements and prioritized them for all sprint meetings.
- Primary point of contact; accountable for the delivery of projects.
- Led Scrum implementation across Avalanche.
- Reporting and health check of projects.
- Helped launch the nike.com portal. Maintained three-year-long delivery and release for Nike.
- Managed QA and Engineering team of 28-30 resources (managers, developers, and analysts).
- Conducted coaching for four different managers to help them transition into SM and take lead as Scrum Master to their Agile teams.
- Moved 15 APIs at Nike to Scrum and web services automation resources.
Check out our How to Cover Work Experience On Your Resume guide for more tips on building a job-winning experience section.
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.
How to add your skills to your Scrum Master resume:
We talked to a few hiring managers about 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 or 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 up 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.
Top 25 scrum master resume skills:
- 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.
6 common resume certifications for a Scrum Master:
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.
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
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, check out this example Agile/Scrum cover letter.
Key takeaways: what makes a great 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.