How to Write a Resume for Cannabis Industry Employment
The cannabis job market is growing faster than any other sector. According to Business Insider, “The US added 64,389 full-time legal cannabis jobs in 2018”, a 44 percent increase from previous years. That’s good news, of course, for anyone who wants to work in the weed biz – until you consider just how many people that really is.
The fact is, hundreds of thousands of Americans are eager to work in the cannabis industry, many of which ready to relocate to a legal state to do so. Anyone who wants to work in the cannabis industry must understand the fierce competition that comes along with the job hunt and prepare accordingly. The first step: writing a cannabis resume that will get noticed.
How to Write a Cannabis Resume
There are hundreds of articles online outlining the basic resume writing process, but very few account for the unique circumstances regarding cannabis skills and experience. Because the marijuana industry is so young, it is difficult to acquire or discuss direct experience related to the field. If you’re lacking direct cannabis experience, it is therefore recommended to create a cannabis resume in a competency-based format rather than an experience-based format. Creating a competency-based resume means that the focus is on skills rather than experience. This is not to say that past work experience is not important, just that it is not the primary focus of the cannabis resume.
Format Your Resume Header
Top your resume with your name and contact information including your email address, phone number and, if you have it, your website and LinkedIn profile link. Formatting can vary (search Google for resume templates, if necessary) provided that your header is not too busy which can be a distraction. Stick to the basics and let your resume do the talking.
If you like, you can add an “Objective” or “Subject” line just below your contact information. Your objective should be two sentences or less and targeted directly toward the job title for which you are applying. Use keywords similar to those mentioned in the job post whenever possible.
Focus on Your Top Skills
The first section of your resume (below your objective) is your transferrable skill. Transferrable skills are those that transfer easily from one industry to another. If, for example, your work history is in customer service, a transferrable skill might be the ability to build and maintain relationships. If your background is in sales, you might highlight your keen ability to retain and share product knowledge.
List transferrable skills as bullets and begin each sentence with a verb. If you have statistics and figures to back up any of your statements, include them!
Employers thrive on numbers and if you can prove your skills with actual figures, your resume will automatically move to the top of the pile. Label this section “Skills,” “Targeted Skillsets,” or something similar.
List Relevant Experience Only
Under a new section titled “Experience” or “Relevant Experience,” list any work-related experience that directly applies to the position. There is no need to list every past job, just those that provided experience that can directly transfer to the new position. Though job titles are important, the primary focus here should be on things like responsibilities, projects, and any other direct positive impact you had on the company you worked for.
Highlight Cannabis Clubs and Hobbies
The cannabis industry is not for the weak-hearted. As attitudes evolve and regulations change, a company’s structure and workflow might change with it. Before cannabis industry employers hire you, they want to know that your passion is for the plant, not the profit.
Do this with a section on your resume highlighting your involvement in cannabis culture. Are you a NORML member? A cultivation hobbyist? The admin of your own cannabis-friendly social media page? Whatever hobbies you have that relate to the cannabis space, include them here. If anything, this section can serve as a way to stoke conversation during a sometimes dry job interview.
References or No?
Employers have no interest in checking references unless they are considering hiring you. It is therefore unnecessary to attach a reference list to a resume. Rather, conclude your resume with a note that you will provide references on request.
The cannabis industry is bursting with opportunity and cannabis industry employment is becoming more and more focused. If you want your cannabis resume to stand out from the competition, highlight your skills, your experience, and – most importantly – your passion for pot in every sentence.
Do you have tips for writing a cannabis resume? Share them with our readers in the comment section below.