IF YOU’RE WRITING a resume for a cannabis company just like you would for a non-cannabis company, you’ll have a hard time standing out. Job seekers who struggle to get noticed frequently ask us, “How do I showcase my skills for the cannabis industry?” The first step in doing that is creating a kick-ass, tailored cannabis resume.
In the earliest days of the legal industry, it was common for employees to get hired based on a cultural fit alone or being vouched for by others. Today, more companies want a documented account of measured success and accomplishments before hiring.
How can you make your cannabis resume the most impactful? Here’s a guide to help you stand out among other cannabis job applicants.Advertisement
Brush Up on the Basics
At the most basic level, you should treat seeking cannabis employment the same way you would for any other industry. The first thing to do is to make sure you have the personal characteristics best suited for the industry. You can start determining this by consulting our “DNA of a Good Cannabis Hire” guide on FlowerHire.com.
Who knows—maybe cannabis actually isn’t a good fit for you! But if it is, it’s time to brush up on your basic resume-writing skills. Go online and find some resume tutorials and templates. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Use the resume formatting and structuring techniques that are proven to get folks hired!
Next, research the company where you are applying to work. Pay special attention to the culture of the company by studying its website and social media presence.
Use this knowledge in crafting your resume. And take special care to tailor the language you use in your resume and cover letter to match the language in the employer’s job description.
These are basic steps to take in writing a standout resume for any role in any industry. Now let’s dive into the cannabis-specific lessons.
Not Much Cannabis Experience?
If you’re like so many applicants, you may not yet have any direct cannabis industry experience to report. You have to connect the dots for employers who are skimming resumes, fast. They’re not going to stop to puzzle out how a skill can be transferred to the cannabis industry.
Do that work for them. Write your cannabis resume in a way that emphasizes skill transferability. Break out your “hard skills” from your “soft skills.”
1. Hard skills. These are your learned abilities that are acquired and enhanced through practice, repetition and education. These skills are often learned via training and education. A few examples of hard skills are:
- Farming and cultivation
- Factory work
Provide numbers and metrics for how your hard skills helped other employers. For example, “Implemented an improved packing method, slashing operation time by 25 percent.”
2. Soft skills. These skills are essential for working with other people and have a positive impact on both the company you’re working for and furthering your own career. A few examples of soft skills are:
- Conflict resolution
- Working under pressure/to deadlines
While not as quantifiable as hard skills, you can discuss with an employer how soft skills like strong communication, leadership and being a team player make you a good fit for them.
To really spotlight your transferable skills, consider structuring a “functional” resume instead of a chronological one. This means putting more relevant experience first instead of just listing your employment history starting with your most recent job.Advertisement
Have Experience in Cannabis?
Cannabis is a unique industry and how we talk about our experience working in it requires care.
1. Discussing legacy experience. If you have unregulated/legacy cannabis work experience that’s related to the job you’re applying to, you should include it on your resume. Please carefully consider how you present this information by talking about the knowledge and skills you gained and how it transfers to a different role.
For example, if you ran a grow operation, you might talk about what you learned about cultivation and growing different strains. If you were selling product, you might describe how you made recommendations based on consumer or patient preferences and symptoms.
In communicating legacy experience, we want to avoid associations with criminality. Keep the focus on your skills and how they are transferable to the regulated market.
2. Highlighting legal work. Traditional resumes don’t usually talk about the companies where we worked, aside from a few high-level details. But the cannabis industry is different because it’s so new. To tell a future employer that you worked in X role at a cannabis company often does not say enough about what you did.
We suggest adding lots of details about any cannabis companies where you worked. Describe the business in one or two sentences. If it’s an operator with a less well-known name that owns better known brands, identify those brands prominently in your resume.
Describe company operations in detail. List different brands, strains and products, emphasizing the ones you touched and how. If you wore multiple hats at a company, explain your versatile skillset and give specifics about areas where you had responsibility.
Let’s Go Job Hunting!
When you resume is ready, upload it at CareersInCannabis.com and start applying for jobs! If you need more help, consult with us here at FlowerHire.
Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified
Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.