Want to land your dream scrum master job? Don't send 100 CVs to all job openings hoping that quantity will beat quality.
Guess what. Many things have changed during the past years in how people hire candidates. And experience is only one part of the equation. The other two are attitude and engagement.
Now, let's break this down:
1. If you have some experience:
- Do not just state all of the Scrum events you have facilitated in your CV in the job descriptions; that should be obvious. Put the outcomes, the accomplishments that led to greater results. Enumerate your greatest skills.
- Analyze your previous experience. Match your accomplishments to Agile values and principles. Write those in the job descriptions as bullet points for each position.
2. If you do not have prior experience:
- The truth about hiring inexperienced Scrum Masters for internships or jobs: Hiring managers should see a ground for collaboration and not a one-way training. Nobody wants to spend hours teaching you. They don’t have that time! Acknowledge it. The only way to break through is to show you can give something back.
Once, I hired an inexperienced person for a project to accompany me because the person had strong analytical skills and was good at preparing different types of reports, graphs, presentations, progress checks and predictions based on rough data. So she took over doing all that, and I could concentrate on other stuff. She attended all of the events as a side observer. She learned on the go (with my guidance, of course) until one day she could facilitate the dailys independently (the safest place to start). It was a collaboration, not me hiring someone to teach while doing the job.
See the difference?
- You might have already been using most of the Agile values and principles in your work intentionally or unintentionally, no matter whether you were in another role.
If, for example, you have helped your teams to improve collaboration with the partners, vendors, customers, and users involving them in the work process and appreciating their feedback (no matter the industry or job position you had), then write about it and link it, for example, to Customer collaboration over contract negotiation value.
- You can also do a small Scrum project with your family or friends.
Let's say you need to organize your family trip:
What do you need for the journey?
How will you plan it?
What would be your success criteria?
Who will be responsible for creating and managing the Backlog?
Who is going to facilitate and support the process?
How would the kids as stakeholders be involved?
What would be the optimal "heartbeat/sprint" for creating an unforgettable experience for you and checking in?
How will you implement what's on the list, inspect and adapt?
How will you deal with unexpected things that happen during the trip?
How will you deal with conflicts/disagreements about what to see or do next during the process?
How are you going to evaluate your experience and results?
How are you going to use your learning for your next trips?
See? Scrum can be applied anywhere.
- About certificates
Almost everyone has a PSM1, so now it is no longer a differentiator. You just need to have something to showcase your proper learning in Scrum. But if you have additional certificates in coding, DevOps, quality assurance, lean/kanban, facilitation, or leadership, that can strengthen your positions.
1. Engage with Agile communities
- Check for the communities nearby on https://www.agilealliance.org/communities/
- I like the "Hands-on-Agile" community on Slack, and the LeSS community on Slack.
- Search for user groups on https://www.scrumalliance.org/resources/groups
- Follow the blog on https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog and the one on https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog
Unfortunately, I don't have a community for beginners, but I have a closed inner circle for practitioners, where we do bi-weekly live sessions over current challenges and new approaches and solutions here: Agile Team Accelerator Inner Circle
2. Check some of the Agile-related conferences
Check out the list here: https://www.eventyco.com/events/conferences/tech~agile.
If you can participate in any of those to meet like-minded people and gurus in the field, great! If not, you can volunteer in the organization of any of those.
3. Find the prominent Agile coaches on Linkedin.
Find the great minds in the industry. Write a compelling message about yourself and why you want to be connected before sending the connection request. Follow and subscribe to those who often post to learn from them. Engage with their posts to create awareness.
The same applies to finding and connecting with employees/recruiters from the company you want to apply to can make you stand out among the pile of CVs.
1. Be prepared to answer questions like your goal, why you want to take that path, or what's the exciting/challenging part of this role. Know yourself, your strengths, why you are suitable for this role, and what you can bring to the table!
2. Recognizing the patterns and anti-patterns that may sabotage your agility and adapting accordingly is essential.
Remember, having an agile mindset is not just about what you want to start doing but also what you may need to stop doing to become more agile.
You can have a look at a guide collaboratively created by Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches: SCRUM MASTER DO'S AND DON'TS
3. People hire for attitude. The experience comes later.
You have to get prepared showcasing all your achievements in these 3 areas to succeed with finding your dream job:
Experience - show what you've got up your sleeve
Engagement - show how you learn and communicate
Attitude - show what you value and long for
Lastly, do things when you aren't ready. Take the challenge.
✅ But put 110% into it all.
✅ Do 110% more than most.
✅ Dare. Try. Succeed.
Those were my tips to help you get your Scrum Master's dream job.
Hope you find it helpful. :)
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