Ready to take on your first role as a Scrum Master only to realize no one will consider you for lack of experience? We get the frustration. The bad news is you can’t conjure a solid work history. The good news is there are other ways to get that first offer letter.
Keep Expanding Your Knowledge
Landing a Scrum Master position without experience is like blowing up the Death Star without the Force. It’s not impossible…but you need Red Leader standing by.
Regardless, a good starting point is expanding your knowledge base as much as you can. Ongoing courses and training programs on Scrum and Agile practices will go a long way to level up your resume. You might even consider taking it a step further and diversifying your knowledge with different books, blogs, and online videos. A few to get you started include:
- The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
- Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Can you get by as a Scrum Master without a certification? Sure. Should you? No. A solid certification, like the PSM I, gives you credibility. It demonstrates to businesses that you’ve expanded your knowledge and tested your skill sufficiently enough to earn a certification.
With that said, some certifications are only handed out for participating – giveaways, to say the least. Employers can sniff out if your certification is merely a participation trophy or an actual assessment of your knowledge, so choose wisely.
Scrap Your Old Resume
Ask yourself, would you hire you if you went over your resume? Before answering that, what’s the ideal person who comes to mind whenever you think of a Scrum Master? Take time to go through their online profile and see how it compares with yours. Which strengths and opportunities have gotten them their current position? Make those considerations when updating your resume.
Sounds easy, right? Spoiler alert, it’s not all puppies and candy canes. What do you do with no prior experience as a Scrum Master? Don’t worry, we can help.
Consider supplementing the lack of experience with anything you’ve done where you utilized the Scrum principles–even if it wasn’t necessarily a paid job. It could be in a non-profit such as a church, a sports group, or a book club. Vividly indicate how you applied your knowledge and skill to positively impact a project. Take a step further to showcase how you can use your acquired skills in the applied job position.
Network, Connect, Network, Connect, and Repeat
We cannot understate the value of making meaningful connections. In fact, 85% of jobs are filled via networking. Lucky for you, the Scrum community has endless opportunities. A good number of these events occur online. Nonetheless, webinars will only be beneficial if you’re intentional and make the most out of them.
Good habits when attending online events include switching on cameras, sharing your story, and following up with those who intrigue you.
You can also set aside time to attend local meetup groups. Scrum.org has a detailed list of local Scrum meetup groups, in-person and online.
Want more? Why not attend the annual conference led by Agile Alliance week-long conference in Nashville? It’s an annual event bringing together the best from the Agile community. The upside: you need no experience to attend this. Downside: you’ll have to dig deep in your pockets.
Patience is a Virtue for a Reason
How long is long enough when building a career plan as a Scrum Master? The reality is that this will likely be a longer journey. The thought of landing a great role in 60-days is probably not realistic–unless you’re extremely connected or have some magic beans. Whatever time it takes; we highly emphasize persistence. If opportunities don’t exist, create them.
How? Instead of quitting your current place of work, try and implement some Scrum principles. You should probably get your supervisor’s permission first–if you plan on keeping the job long enough to get the experience you need for your next dream job.
Not in a role with this type of autonomy? Consider networking within your company to secure a new role that allows you the flexibility to build the right skills and gain experience. The more creative you get, the better shot you have. Out-of-the-box ideas like starting your own blog on Agility can go a long way towards showing potential employers how you think and what knowledge you have.
Whatever the case, be innovative, iterate, and have an open mind while applying Scrum both in your personal and work life.
Connect With Your Best Shot…Us
Being smart doesn’t mean you know it all. Well, it might. But it also means that you’re willing to learn and admit where you need help. These are actual characteristics of a true Scrum Master–adaptive and iterative. And that’s where Responsive Advisors comes in to pick up the metaphorical baton.
We’re a relentless and formidable team with a track record of success through best-of-class training and personalized coaching. Whether you are a beginner or have prior experience with Scrum, we can help you uplevel your knowledge so you’re fully prepared for that first role.
Seriously, you’ll want to leave the camera on for our engaging, fun courses – no ties necessary.