In theory, putting together an ideal Scrum master resume is simple. You just need to demonstrate a mastery of Scrum principles and show experience putting them in practice. However, as a Scrum master, you’re well familiar with all the problems that arise when theory meets practice and crafting your resume is no different.
You need your resume to show that you can effectively implement Scrim principles and use them to get great results for the product owner. This guide will take you through all of the tricks and principles you need to follow to do just that.
What this guide will teach you
- How to take inspiration from Scrum master resume examples
- What makes a Scrum master resume stand out
- How to write for ATS and recruiters alike
- The formatting rules you need to follow
- How to include education, training, and certifications for maximum impact
- The best skills to include and how to list them
- How to highlight your achievements
- Why starting with an objective or summary is ideal
- What to do if you have little or no Scrum master experience
- Why a resume builder is a critical tool for success
There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get started.
Scrum master resume examples
You might describe yourself as a kind of product manager to your grandparents but you know that being a Scrum master is really its own thing. That’s why you should start the resume creation process by taking inspiration from resumes crafted just for Scrum masters like yourself.
Before you think “I know what a resume looks like” and move on to the other sections, stop and take a look at these examples. Try listing what you like and don’t like about each, what stands out to you. Imagine yourself as a recruiter or product owner, what would you think of each of these resumes? We’re going to talk about the power of putting yourself in those shoes throughout this guide, so start here and you’ll be ready for what comes next.
How to write a Scrum master resume that will get you noticed
As someone applying for a Scrum master position, you’re asking for a lot of responsibility. That’s why your resume needs to inspire confidence in you and your abilities. Doing that means showing instead of telling (if that sounds strange for a written document, don’t worry it will make sense). Including examples and specifics about your approach and the results you’ve gotten will be key.
But before you begin writing, you need to understand the two primary audiences your resume needs to resonate with.
The most important thing most Scrum master applicants don’t do on their resume
Three simple letters lead to as many as 75% of otherwise qualified resumes never seeing the light of day (or the screen of a recruiter): ATS. Applicant Tracking Systems are algorithms which use artificial intelligence to scan large numbers of resumes and sort them into “review further” and “discard” piles. These systems are increasingly popular because of the time they save for HR teams, however as the 75% figure cited above indicates, they have their problems.
Although there are dozens of ATS companies out there each with a slightly different system, they all share some limitations that you as a job applicant need to be familiar with. The good news is that by following these tips you can be confident your resume won’t be part of that 75%, giving you a substantial advantage when applying at companies which use ATS (which is most of them)
- Make sure the resume you submit is the right file type. This one is easy. ATS are generally designed to read .doc, .docx, and .pdf files. So by submitting your resume in one of these 3 file types, yours won’t be rejected out of hand like your friend who thought it would be cool to send their resume as a movie or an image file.
- Use a resume builder to ensure the data in that file is easily readable by ATS. Although ATS are set up to read the file types we mentioned, they can still easily get confused by the way that data is structured within the file. Images, charts, columns, etc. can all potentially cause problems. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to create your resume using a builder specifically designed to create ATS-friendly files.
- Think like an ATS algorithm and use keywords cleverly. If you’re familiar with how keywords are used in SEO, then this should make sense to you. ATS algorithms scan your resume trying to understand your skills and experience similar to the way Google’s algorithms scan a website to understand its content. What you need to do is make this process easy. That requires first understanding what the ATS is looking for by studying the job ad. Then, you need to take the requirements in the job ad and get those keywords into your resume as closely as possible to how they’re originally written (and without lying, because lying on your resume is never a good idea).
By following these 3 steps, your resume will be more prepared for ATS than the vast majority of other Scrum masters out there, giving you a substantial heads up.
How to get in the head of a recruiter or product owner
Whether or not the place you’re applying to uses ATS, your resume will still need to impress a human. For larger companies, this will be a recruiter, hiring manager, or someone else in HR. For a smaller company or freelance gig, this will probably be the product owner themselves. Either way, your resume needs to be laser-focused on them and their needs.
Look back at the job ad and ask yourself what this company or team needs from a Scrum master. You’re being hired to do more than simply fulfill a role, you’ll be helping them achieve larger aims. Understanding those aims and representing them in your resume will help you stand out from the competition.
For example, if a company is looking to hire you because they want to try Scrum, you should demonstrate your knowledge of the system so you can help them through the implementation. On the other hand, if the company needs a Scrum master because their product development process is a mess, you can emphasize examples when you’ve stepped in and improved processes.
The bigger idea is that your resume should communicate that you will solve their problem(s). If you can convince a recruiter or product owner of that, they’ll be falling over themselves to hire you.
How to format a Scrum master resume
Formatting is really about information hierarchy. The way you structure the sections on your resume tells the person reading it what’s important. That’s why resume formatting is so critical, by controlling what information gets across in what order, you can make the content of your resume more effective.
For example, a recruiter might notice a gap in your work history and wonder what happened. That uncertainty will impact how they read the rest of the information. But, if you get ahead of them and explain the gap in a resume summary (more on those later), then you’ll avoid that problem.
The bigger principle is to put the most important information towards the top. This means you’ll want to put your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent experience is listed first. But it also gets to the question of what is important and the ever popular “how long should my resume be?” The best rule of thumb in this case is to only include information or a section if you're confident it’s improving your resume. Nobody wants to hire a Scrum master who seems more focused on overwhelming the reader with pages of unnecessary information rather than providing a lean and focused resume.
Which sections should you include in your resume?
Using the principles we just mentioned to guide you, choose from these sections with an eye on including only the ones which best show you off as a Scrum master.
- Resume objective or summary
- Work experience
- Hard skills
- Soft Skills
How to list your education, additional training, and certifications
Education is a tricky question for a Scrum master resume. You’re not going to have a BA in Scrum, so when should you include it and what should you mention? Put simply, if your education isn’t relevant then don’t include it. The space taken up by listing an irrelevant degree would be better used listing more important information.
Where you will want to spend more time and focus is on additional training and certifications related to your Scrum work.
But if you do feel the need to include your education, here are some examples to illustrate how to do that.
BA in Linguistics
University of Wisconsin Madison
-Member of Linguistics Honor Society
-Varsity Rugby 2000-2002
This example makes most of the mistakes you’ll potentially run into, so let’s explain each one. The first is really including this education at all. The chances that someone hiring you as a Scrum master care that you obtained a degree 15+ years ago are slim to none. Including this information makes you look old-fashioned. Then, this example has included many irrelevant details, wasting yet more valuable resume space (and the time of the person reading it).
BA in Management
University of Pennsylvania
-Wrote thesis on agile management in German auto manufacturing
This education example demonstrates what should be included. First, the degree is relevant to your work as a Scrum master. Second, the degree is much more recent. And third, the only additional detail added is one directly connected to Scum (and something which could serve as a nice topic of conversation in an interview).
Scrum master certifications to consider obtaining and including
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM) I, II, & III from Scrum.org
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM) from the Scrum Alliance
- Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) from the Scrum Alliance
- Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM) from the Scrum Alliance
- Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) from the Project Management Institute
- SAFe 4 Scrum Master
- SAFe 4 Advanced Scrum Master
How to list your skills on a Scrum master resume
As someone applying for a Scrum master role, your skills can seem less important because the core skill you’re demonstrating is the ability to function as a Scrum master. While there is some truth to that, the reality is that without listing skills you’ll have little chance of making it past ATS.
The best approach for choosing which skills to list and how to include them is to begin with the job ad. Just like we mentioned in the ATS section, you should study the description carefully and list all of the skills you believe it calls for. Now your mission is to get as many of those skills on your resume as possible.
However, while that technique will do well for ATS, a simple list of skills won’t have much of an impact on a person reading your resume. Let’s face it, simply stating that you’re good at agile planning doesn’t say much. If you want your skills to have a greater impact, you need to give concrete examples. Let’s see this in action with some examples.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with simply listing a skill like this, you can do better.
-Ran monthly product development unconferences in Boston from March 2018 to June 2019
Here, simply by listing some specific experience a reader can feel far more confident in this skill. Instead of reading your skills and thinking “that sounds nice but now I need to figure out a way to determine whether they actually have that skill” a reader feels they can move on without worrying more. By making their job easier in this way, you make yourself a more enticing candidate.
The best hard skills to include
- Anything more technical related to the specific projects you’ll work on
- Burndown charts
- Agile coaching
- Scrum management
- PM tools
- Gathering requirements
- Managing backlogs
The best soft skills to include
- Written and verbal communication
- Time management
- Meeting facilitation
- Team building
- Conflict resolution
- Attention to detail
How to highlight your most important achievements
Whether you’re listing examples under your skills, in your work history, or in a separate achievements section, listing your achievements the right way is one of the most effective ways to improve your resume. This is where you need to show that beyond simply muddling through and doing the bare minimum, you have an impact on the projects you get involved with.
This is particularly important for Scrum masters because your role will be very active and the quality of your work will have far ranging impacts on your team and what they produce. By showing specific impacts from your achievements, you’ll be demonstrating that you’ve got attention to detail and can get results. Now let’s look at some examples to see this in action.
2014-2019, Omaha, NE
-Responsible for managing software projects
-Implemented Scrum methodology
The takeaway from this example is that this person “managed some stuff and did some Scum.” Joking aside, this description hardly inspires confidence or makes the candidate sound proactive. In 5 years at this company, if all they have to mention are these two points, there’s no reason to think they’ll be an effective Scrum master.
Project Manager and Scrum Master
2014-2019, Omaha, NE
-Managed 40+ person software development teams creating web apps and enterprise software
-Obtained a PSM certification before implementing Scrum practices
-Reduced average project length by 18% and cost by 12% after 2 years of Scrum implementation
Reworking that example to focus more on concrete achievements makes it sound like it’s describing a completely different person. It tells a story about managing large teams, seeing the need to change work practices, studying Scrum as a solution, and then successfully implementing it with great results. The reader can clearly see how this candidate went through these steps and therefore how they work as an employee.
Why your resume should begin with an objective or summary
We mentioned earlier in this guide how critical it is to control the flow of information in your resume. The best and more flexible way to do this is with an objective or summary. In one or a few sentences, you can start by giving a summary of why you’re the best candidate for a Scrum master role.
This is also a good place to get ahead of potential questions which might arise from reading your resume like “why did you change careers?” or “why is there a gap in your work history?” When you frame the information on your resume effectively, you make all of the information in it more impactful, which is why objectives and summaries are so important.
The difference between them is largely one of length. An objective should only be about one sentence and should focus on simply explaining who you are and what you aim to achieve. A summary can be a few sentences long but should still be concise. Here you have more space to convey information which doesn’t fit easily into other resume sections.
How to write a resume objective
Your goal here is to pack as much valuable information into a few easy to understand words.
I’m an experienced and certified Scrum Master looking to use my abilities to improve development practices at your company.
There are a few mistakes to point out with this example. It’s written in the first person (your entire resume should be in the third person), it’s light on details (how experienced are you, what kind of certification do you have, how do you plan on improving practices?) and clearly shows that this resume was not written for a specific role by not mentioning the company. In other words, instead of creating a strong first impression, it leaves the person reading it with more questions than answers.
Now let’s see that same objective rewritten with those mistakes all addressed.
A-CSM Certified Scrum Master with 6 years experience looking to implement Scrum to address cost overruns and development delays at Jackson Systems.
Here you know right from the start how much experience they have, and what their main goals will be in this specific role. This creates a feeling of “I’m here to help solve your problem” instead of “hire me because I’m good at Scrum.” Ultimately, companies want to hire the former and you need to communicate that from the beginning.
How to write a resume summary
A good resume summary should follow all of the rules we just explained in the objective example.
Despite having limited direct experience with Scrum, I believe my extensive background in project management and agile development more than makes up for that lack of experience. If you give me a chance I can prove my abilities at your company and am happy to answer any questions about my resume.
While the intention is good here, the execution leaves something to be desired. A resume summary is a great place to explain why you might be a great candidate despite having less experience, but this example is too wordy and wastes precious space giving unnecessary excuses and information.
Project manager with 4 years agile development experience currently pursuing an ACP certification from PMI looking to help implement Scrum practices at Shumen Technologies. Successfully completed 3 major projects in previous role at an average 8% under budget.
This rewritten version of the previous example is upfront about the lack of direct Scrum experience while also focusing on what the candidate is actively doing to compensate for it. Mentioning a top achievement is another smart move as it establishes what they can accomplish early on.
How to write a Scrum master resume when you have little or no experience
While Scrum has been around since the 90s, it’s only risen to prominence in recent years. So there’s a decent chance you don’t have a ton of direct experience in Scrum when you’re trying to land a role using it. In these cases, there are three things you need to focus on doing.
- Get a certification if possible. Ultimately this is much easier than getting hired and obtaining more direct Scrum experience, so if you can get certified you can establish some baseline of experience and show that you’re proactive.
- Emphasize related experience. If you’ve got a history in agile development of some kind or just in general project management, you need to emphasize this because it’s the next best thing to direct Scrum experience.
- Show you’ve got the right attitude. Employers know that teaching skills is easier than teaching an attitude or mindset. If you can show you’ve got the characteristics of a great Scrum master but just need to learn a few key skills, you can be a more appealing candidate than someone with the right skills but a bad attitude or mindset.
How to make your resume stand out
The best way to make a Scrum master resume stand out is to get all of the small details we’ve discussed in this guide right. Starting with a powerful objective or summary, including specific achievements in your experience, and listing skills based on the job ad will all make your resume compelling for a recruiter.
But the last piece to that puzzle is design. Even before they read the first word, design is the primary thing a reader will notice about your resume. A clean and modern look is particularly important for a Scrum master because you’re working in a modern field. An accountant might be able to get away with a generic Word doc for a resume, but employers will expect something better from you. Getting that design is easiest when you use a resume builder.
The importance of using a powerful resume builder
With so many small details to get right for the perfect Scrum master resume, you need all the help you can get. That’s why using a powerful resume builder is a must. It can ensure you’ve got beautiful modern design, that your resume will be ready for ATS, and make the process of creating it easier (anything to get out of fixing formatting issues in Word).
For all of these features and more, check out Resumebuild.com’s powerful resume creation tool. It makes creating and managing multiple targeted resumes easy with an intuitive builder and powerful features to give you the upper hand when applying for your next Scrum master role.
- Lead a team of software developer to develop, test and deliver customer requirement and support in all phases of testing till production.
- Requirement Analysis (Writing Functional Requirements based upon the system Business requirements).
- Creating High level and Application design.
- Providing solutions designs.
- Designing Impact Assessments.
scrum master / sr. software engineer
- Certified Scrum Master and Scrum Professional.
- 1.5 years of experience as a Scrum Master
- Agile Tester Certified
- ISTQB Foundation level Certified
- Acted as a Scrum Master for this project and created Jira BOARDS for all the modules for the application.
- Removed impediments by finding the right personnel to remove the impediment
- Took responsibility of delivery and management of the tasks
- Tracked and effectively communicated team velocity and sprint/release progress to all affected teams and management
- Updated Jira systems to provide transparency on product and sprint backlogs
- Worked with the Scrum Team and the Product Owner to negotiate the minimum viable product for delivery.
- User Story creation/completion and capacity planning in Visual Studio Team Services, collaborative Product Backlog grooming in AHA
- Resoponsible for setting up Automation frameworks for Testing using Selenium,SAHI.Hands on Experience in TFS SCRUM Process Templates.
- Coordinated defect fixes, releases and deployment with teams.
- Making sure that junior employees reach their full potential through constant evaluation, coaching and training.
- Facilitated Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Retrospective meetings
- Encouraged team to come up with release plans for product releases
- Partnered with Product Owners and Agile coaches to empower the team to make outcome-based decisions
- Helped team to remove the obstacles during the Agile transformation
- Worked with team to establish robust test automation framework to speed up the delivery