I have been a professional resume writer for nearly a decade now, and I also have extensive experience in the cannabis industry, so a lot of people come to me for advice when they’re trying to compile a cannabis resume to target jobs in medical or recreational marijuana. And they’re smart to do so too (click if you need your marijuana resume updated)!
After all, it’s a good idea to seek out professional help and it will undoubtedly give you a leg up over other job seekers in this competitive market. However, if you are dead set on writing your resume for the cannabis industry then there are multiple things you will need to consider. First and foremost, you will need to decide which aspects of your background are pertinent to include and which are not.
For instance, if you are applying for a job as a budtender it’s a good idea to talk about your experience in customer relations and retail operations. However, that same experience wouldn’t be relevant if you were applying for a job as an extraction technician or cultivator. Do you see my point?
Cannabis Resume Length
You will also need to present that information in a format that is easy for the reader to absorb. The foundation of any good marijuana resume is a good format, and another sage piece of advice is to keep it to 1 or 2 pages in length because you don’t want to intimidate a hiring manager by giving them a novel to read.
Aside from that, let’s face it, not too many people have a vast history in the cannabis industry because until recently there was barely any industry to speak of. So many people are faced with the same problem. How do you show that your background and skill sets are in line with the needs of the employer?
In other words, how do you show them that you know a lot about marijuana and you would be a good fit within their company, even though you may not have the formal experience to prove it?
“Talk-the-Talk” in Your Marijuana Resume
By far the best way to address this in your marijuana resume is to “talk the talk”, and to use enough strategic keywords and industry jargon that it’s obvious you know what you’re talking about. If you’re a master grower use terms like “hydroponic systems”, “phenotypes”, or “super soil mixtures”.
If you’re on the dispensary side, refer to “edibles and extracts”, “medicinal effects”, “Indica versus Sativa”, or other such descriptive phrases that let a potential employer know that you are familiar with the lingo and comfortable talking about marijuana in some detail.
Something else of “growing” importance these days, and something that may be vital to the success of your marijuana resume is the inclusion of some sort of cannabis schooling or training certification. Right now, the cannabis industry is expanding at an astronomical rate, new jobs are being created every day, and countless individuals are trying to break into the field.
As a response to the influx of new employment opportunities, the need for qualified training and professional development has grown as well, and there is an ever-increasing number of both online and brick-and-mortar institutions that are providing job seekers with all the necessary skills.
Cannabis Cover Letter Considerations
So those are some things to consider for your cannabis resume, now here are some things to consider in your cannabis cover letter. My first piece of advice and this goes for just about every industry, you don’t want your cover letter to be too long. Be short, and to the point, and briefly touch on the most notable aspects of your background.
Because the whole point of a cover letter is that it’s supposed to be a “leading” document that prompts the reader to want to know more about you. So, give them a taste, but not the whole pie. That’s when they’ll move on to your resume, where the bulk of your information should be presented, and from there they can determine whether or not they want to follow up with you for an interview.
Another great piece of advice for writing an effective cannabis cover letter is to know your audience. By that, I mean to know who will likely be reading this cover letter and try to put yourself in their shoes. What do they want to see in a potential job candidate? What skills are they looking for? What will be the best way to get their attention from the moment they start reading your cover letter?
Summary for Your Marijuana Resume
And NO, I don’t mean you should use colorful text and graphics and such. Stuff like that is typically viewed as a bit sophomoric and unprofessional. What I DO mean is that you need to show them VALUE. You need to show them how your skills and personality will fit into their culture, and you need to show them that you would be able to hit the ground running with their company.
So, the bottom line is, if you’re serious about your career in the cannabis industry then you should take these documents seriously. They can make you, or they can break you. A key factor when compiling your new cannabis resume will be selecting an appropriate format and making sure it’s succinct and presentable.
If your resume looks scattered and unprofessional, then YOU look scattered and unprofessional. Be specific, and targeted, and don’t be afraid to get super selective when filtering through your experience for relevancy (ex. don’t go into detail about your background as a skydiving instructor if you’re applying for jobs in a grow room).
I hope that all helps, and if you’re not too confident in your abilities as a marketer and/or resume writer then I sincerely recommend you find a qualified professional to work with. A seasoned veteran in these matters can be an invaluable asset and can help take a giant weight off your shoulders.
Then, once you have a marijuana resume you a proud of, you can go out there with confidence and land the perfect job for you!
Let us know what you think.
[Editorial Note: JR Hindman is a freelance resume writer and the owner of MarijuanaResumes.com. He has years of cross-functional experience in the hiring industry and the cannabis industry and has helped countless individuals to land their dream jobs.]