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Scrum Master resume examples and top advice

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Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2021-04-21

You’ve sent your Scrum Master resume to hundreds of companies. But you haven’t heard back from a single one.

If this were any other profession, you could simply increase the number of applications and easily land a job. But here’s the catch: there are 150,000 Scrum Masters in the US—and there are only 10,000 Scrum Master positions available in total. Out of these 10,000 available positions, there’s less than 5% demand for an entry level Scrum Master candidate.

As a result, writing a Scrum Master resume that stands out is going to take some serious sprints and skills. But in this guide, we’ll show you how to do exactly that.

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 Scrum Master 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 sample

How to write a Scrum Master resume:

If you live in a city, you only have one shot at just a handful of jobs around you.

And here’s the reality: a hiring manager will make a decision about your application in less than 10 seconds after opening your resume.

Clearly, this demands a Scrum Master resume that is both highly engaging and converts well.

The first step towards writing an engaging resume is to know what your hiring manager wants to see. What’s going to be their “Aha” moment?

Here’s what most hiring managers look for in a Scrum Master resume:

  • Whether you’re certified or not
  • Total years of experience in a Scrum Master role
  • The type of projects/industry/scale you’ve worked on

Note that a hiring manager looking for an entry level Scrum Master will try to map out your existing work experience to see whether you have leadership skills or not.

Now that you know what a hiring manager expects from you, what’s the best way to show your experience?

The next step is picking a resume layout that fits.

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 reality 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.

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 hireable and rejectable candidates, effectively showing what you should/shouldn’t do:

Two Scrum Master resume summary examples

Experienced Scrum Master with a proven track record of delivering high-quality software, on-time and within budget. Seeking a position with a top technology firm.
Enthusiastic entry-level Scrum Master. Has worked in Agile environments as a software engineer for seven years. Worked on two Scrum teams and filled in as Scrum Master on several occasions. Proven history of successful work with cross-functional teams.

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

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 your resume experience should magnify your technical skills. 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)

Engineering Manager, SM, Payment ProcessingNike
06/2015 - 09/2018
Beaverton, OR
Managed an agile team of four big data developers.
Managed fourprojects using Agile Scrum methodology.
Reduced project lead cycles and improved efficiency.
Engineering Manager, SM, Payment ProcessingNike
06/2015 - 09/2018
Beaverton, OR
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.
Project Manager and Scrum MasterAvalanche Technologies
06/2015 - 09/2018
Portland, OR
Primary point of contact; accountable for the delivery of projects.
Led Scrum implementation across Avalanche.
Reporting and health check of projects.
Project Manager and Scrum MasterAvalanche Technologies
06/2015 - 09/2018
Portland, OR
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.

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 the Scrum Master position, 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.

Top 10 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.

  • Backlog management
  • PM tools: JIRA cloud site, nTask, Vivifyscrum
  • User stories
  • Sprint planning
  • Coaching agile practices
  • Removing impediments
  • Retrospective meetings
  • Team building
  • Burndown charts
  • Quality control
  • Communication
  • Documentation
  • 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.

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.

7 common resume certifications for a Scrum Master:

  • CSM
  • CSPro
  • CSD
  • CEC
  • CST
  • Certified PMP Professional
  • Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Professional

Should you really 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]:

BS Computer EngineeringUniversity of Washington
Completedfive projects on Computer Vision
Assisted in research work
4.0 GPA
MA, Symbolic SystemsStanford University
Built a self-driving robot and won a paper presentation award
Wrote Master’s thesis in AI-assisted driving
4.0 GPA

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.

BS Computer EngineeringUniversity of Washington
MA, Symbolic SystemsStanford University

In just one glance, a recruiter going over your resume knows that you have the right educational background.

Key Takeaways: What makes a great Scrum Master resume?

  • Focus on a reverse chronological 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.

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