A strong and well written WHY will help you to stand out from the crowd when applying for Scrum Master jobs. The reason why you want to work as a Scrum Master will guide you in difficult situations to stay motivated and overcome challenging hurdles as a Scrum Master.
There is a high demand for Scrum Masters in nearly every industry. Yet many (aspiring) Scrum Masters have hard times landing a job as a Scrum Master.
There is a common understanding that you need a certificate and experience as a Scrum Master to get hired. But despite being certified and at least a little work experience, you still have a hard time landing a Scrum Master job. Why is that?
Let me share my experience:
I am working as a freelance Scrum Master/Agile Coach, and very often, I am involved in the hiring process to get internal permanent Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches.
Nearly 90% of the applications the companies receive are boring and look similar.
What Are Companies Looking For?
Yes, most of them want you to be already certified, and yes, they want you to have already some experience as a Scrum Master.
I mentioned that those companies receive many suitable applications. So how could you stand out from the crowd?
You need a big fat convincing WHY: Why do you want to work as a Scrum Master?
Having a strong reason to work as a Scrum Master helps a company choose you for their next hire.
Hardly anyone communicates their reason for becoming a Scrum Master to convince a company. That’s a missed opportunity: Your WHY is unique, and nobody can copy it. The reason you want to work as a Scrum Master can make a difference.
“Why do you want to work as a Scrum Master?” or “What is your motivation to work as a Scrum Master?” are common questions during a job interview. Many applicants answer with boring things like “I want to help the team”, “I want the company to succeed with Scrum”, etc.
Answers like this won’t get you hired. Everybody says this. You can even google those boring answers from Scrum interview question collections.
What Does Your WHY Should Contain?
Instead of those interchangeable generic answers, try to develop your own personal WHY. It will take quite a time.
Consider the following aspects when working on your strong reason why you want to work as a Scrum Master:
- Personal experiences from the past (good or bad)
- Value for the company
- Your strengths
Let’s have a look:
Sit back and think about your past experiences where Scrum or Agile would have helped you or others doing a better job. What would have been different, especially what would have been better. How does this experience motivate you to work as a Scrum Master?
Value for the Company
How could the company you are applying to benefit from the way you think about Scrum and Agile? What actions did you do in the past, they would also get value from? Remember: Companies don’t hire you because they are doing Scrum. They invest money to achieve business goals. How could you support them to achieve their goals?
Think about what you are good at. Think about stuff you are good at when working with people. What kind of patterns do you see when looking back on your career? What was easy for you, and what has helped other people?
Your WHY Is Unique, and Nobody Can Copy It.
The three things above are all tailored to you personally. Working out and writing down your personal WHY of being a Scrum Master, let you talk with great confidence in a job interview. You don’t have to make things up to impress your future company. You can talk about yourself and how the company can benefit from hiring you with great confidence.
How to Use Your WHY
Once you identified and wrote down your strong reason to work as a Scrum Master, it is time to use it in favor of your Scrum Master career.
Add your WHY to your cover letter, use it in your next job interview (if they don’t ask for it, you can talk about it when you introduce yourself), add it to your LinkedIn profile, and use it in presentations in agile meetups to introduce yourself.