Lutz Mueller 

Do you have trouble getting a job as a Scrum Master despite there are so many open positions?

Yes, there is a high demand for Scrum Masters in nearly every industry around the globe. However, getting hired as a Scrum Master seems to be a tedious process.

Many applicants do not make it to the interview stage. They apply for nearly all positions in their area, but they are not called for interviews. Does this feel like you? 

More often than not, you get a generic response where they thank you for your application, but you didn’t make it to the next round. This kind of feedback does not help improve your application. Maybe you feel like you are getting overlooked, and you ask yourself:

“What can I do to be recognized? How can I or my resume stand out?”

Applying for a Scrum Master role is different than applying for other positions.

I want you to understand what problems exist regarding the Scrum Master role, companies, and job seekers. Understanding the challenges companies and job seekers face will help you to redo your resume to your advantage.

Lack of an Established Career Path

Many job positions have clearly defined hierarchical career paths like software developers. Here is an example of a career path:

Developer -> Lead Developer-> Architect -> Development Team Lead -> Development Manager -> CTO

The example above has an exact hierarchical order from bottom to top. For example, companies looking for an architect do know precisely what they expect from someone who applies for this position.

The Scrum Master position is different. There are no established career paths for Scrum Masters. The Scrum Master role is still new for a lot of companies, especially for their HR departments. 

As a result, you will find job descriptions containing tasks and requirements that have nothing to do with a Scrum Master’s job. Why is that?

Companies and especially their HR departments are insecure about the Scrum Master role.

Companies Fear Wrong Candidates

How can companies separate great Scrum Masters from imposters?

Getting a Scrum Master certificate is relatively easy. Attend a pricy 2-day course from the Scrum Alliance or study yourself and take’s exam. Now you are certified as a Scrum Master. Everybody can do this. And a lot of people are doing this. They hope that a certificate will get them a high paying leadership role. 

The Scrum Master role is a leadership role.

Leadership roles are no entry-level positions. The lack of an established career path and the possibility of getting a certificate quite easily do not play in your favor. It makes it more difficult for you to apply for a Scrum Master position as companies fear wrong candidates and imposters.

Companies looking for Scrum Masters are very often in an agile transition. They change how they create products and services because their business is in danger due to competitors who can build better products in a shorter period.

That means their business is in trouble. They do not have many tries to get the perfect candidate. That’s why they are hesitant to look for Scrum Master newbies.

HR Does Not Understand the Scrum Master Role

Companies and their HR departments are insecure about the Scrum Master role. They are unsure about what it needs to be a great Scrum Master. They don’t have the skills and tools to separate good candidates from imposters. I don’t want to accuse them.

Reading through the internet, you will identify many discussions where Scrum Masters complain teams, organizations, and especially management do not understand Agile and Scrum.

If the people working with Scrum day to day do not understand Agile and Scrum, why should HR people understand the role of a Scrum Master?

Most companies start their agile transition from their IT department in isolation. If so, HR needs to hire agile experts like Scrum Masters, but they are not yet part of the change. 

They do not get trained. They work like they worked before and need to look for candidates for positions they do not know and do not understand.

Wrong Understanding of the Scrum Master Role

Many people ask in forums and discussion groups, what is the next step after receiving their certification. They have an unrealistic expectation about the Scrum Master role.

Why is that?

A lot of training companies advertising the certificate as an entry ticket into the Scrum Master role. The truth is: 

A Scrum Master certificate is NOT your ticket to getting hired as a Scrum Master.

Training companies sell training and classes. They don’t make you a Scrum Master. Or getting hired.

As a Scrum Master, you need to be able to

  • deal with resistance from your team, your management, and your whole organization
  • getting used to colleagues not understanding your role and questioning your value
  • handle the negativity around you as people resist to change their behavior and blame Scrum and Agile
  • foster change without being an authority

Short: You need to lead people without having the power of a boss. 

The Scrum Master role is a leadership role. A leadership role is not an entry-level position.

Resume Writing Services? – Hell, No!

Here is an example of a guy who used a resume writing service for his Scrum Master Resume.

Not only because of grammar issues, wrong word usage, and the hefty price tag, resume writing service will not bring you one step closer to your Scrum Master job, not even to the interview stage.

The only person who can write your Scrum Master resume is you!

A few paragraphs ago, you learned that teams, management, and even HR departments have difficulty understanding the Scrum Master role.

If people who should understand the role do not know about Scrum Masters, why would a resume writer who writes for all kinds of roles and positions have the knowledge and experience about the Scrum Master role and what companies are looking for?

Stay away from resume writing services.

How to Use This Information

Do you feel overwhelmed and pessimistic because you read about all the problems of being hired as a Scrum Master?

You shouldn’t!

As a Scrum Master, you need to be aware of the problems to help to find solutions. The same applies to your Scrum Master Resume.

Think about the following hypotheses when working on your resume:

  • Your resume should reflect you are an investment, not an expense.
  • Your resume needs to clarify you understand a company’s problems (their particular problems) and challenges.
  • Your resume needs to explain that you can solve those problems by contributing as a Scrum Master.

Learn How to Write a Compelling Scrum Master Resume That Gets You Interviews

Over the next few weeks, I will write articles that will help you write a compelling resume without paying hundreds of dollars for professional writing services or resume templates.

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