Beginning your journey as a Scrum Master can be a difficult one, especially when it's time to find your first job.
Most people are worried about making the first step because they lack the necessary experience. Fortunately for them, experience or lack thereof does not have to be the determining factor in finding a job as a Scrum Master.
Therefore, here are a few tips that will not only help you get started but also help you find and land an entry-level Scrum Master job.
Certification can help out immensely when it comes down to landing a Scrum Master job. A lot of companies don't find this factor mandatory but it never hurts to come prepared.
Therefore, if you haven't gotten to it yet, go ahead and get certified for the role of a Scrum Master. There are two major certification bodies for you to choose from. You can get certified with one or both of them; it's your choice entirely. Here are the certification bodies that can help you out.
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM) provided by the Scrum Alliance - The requirements for this certification includes an online or in-person course that will be though by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or a coaching course from a Certified Agile Coach (CAC).
After successful completion of the course, you can take the 50 question CSM test. Moreover, you have to earn Scrum Education Units to maintain your certification and renew it every two years.
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM) provided by the Scrum.org - This certification is similar to the one provided by the Scrum Alliance. The only difference is that PSM certification doesn't require coaching as mandatory but it's very helpful if you do, actually, opt for it.
Other than that, PSM certification has 3 levels with the first being the foundation level and the last being the expert level. To apply for an expert level certification or PSM III you have to pass the test for the previous two.
Both certification bodies are based on the Scrum Guide so you can opt for either one. Furthermore, the Scrum Guide is the standard accepted reference point for learning the Scrum framework in an Agile environment.
Of course, you should always see these courses and certifications as an opportunity to learn first and getting certified a distant second.
Highlighting your experience
Even if you lack the experience in the field of a Scrum Master you shouldn't despair. Any previous experience you have will come in handy when applying for a job. As you may already know, the role of a Scrum Master requires both hard and soft skills, which means any expertise you have should be highlighted in your resume.
That said, any previous projects you participated in or any roles you've taken on should find their place in your biography. This will catch the attention of employers and interviewers because a Scrum Master needs to be resourceful and capable.
If you think that you don't have enough relevant experience to portray to employers you can always look for other opportunities. For example, you can try volunteering, for starters. Take on a few projects or a few daily Scrums to help fill out your resume before you apply for a job.
Network as much as you can
Finding an entry-level job as a Scrum is not difficult but it can get complicated if you don't know where to look. That's why networking is vital to your efforts.
Networking has more benefits than simply meeting people who can help you find a job. As a matter of fact, through networking, you can also establish relevant connections, form meaningful relationships and obtain resources that can help you out in the future.
That said, network as much as you can whenever possible. Here are a few things you should focus on when networking.
- Attend relevant networking events.
- Join Scrum-related communities and forums.
- Look for relevant groups on social media networks, such as LinkedIn, for instance.
- Don't hesitate to reach out to people.
- Try to find a mentor who can coach you.
- Be active above all else.
Networking these days is simply essential for navigating the IT world, in general. The more connections you establish the easier it becomes to find and land entry-level Scrum Master jobs.
Write a good resume
Before you start applying here and there, take the time to polish your resume writing skills. A well-written Scrum Master resume is key to finding good employment. Therefore, create a resume that will open the doors for you. Here are a few important factors regarding your resume.
- It needs to be well-written with no room for grammatical errors.
- Make it easy to navigate and don't clutter the information you provide.
- Opt for an easy to read format.
- Optimize your resume for computer or app screening.
- Highlight your education, certification, previous experience and accomplishments.
- Include a cover letter in your resume.
The last part is to take your time and be patient about finding or landing an entry-level Scrum Master job. In most cases, it takes a bit of luck to be in the right place at the right time. That's why you shouldn't get frustrated if nothing is happening at first.
Scrum Master roles are on high demand but there's no shortage of candidates either. That's why patience and persistence are essential while in the process of finding the right employment. Just keep looking and don't give up no matter how challenging things may turn out to be. On the other hand, you may get lucky and land a job straight away.