So, you want to get into the cannabis industry? Cool!

You’ve found loads of jobs that you want to apply to, but you just need a smokin’ resume to get anywhere near an interview. Writing a resume for the cannabis industry is similar to others, but there are a few differences and pointers than can help you along the way.

Use a skills-based layout

Unless you already have tons of experience in the cannabis industry, a skills-based layout will help you massively. It focuses on your skills rather than your work experience (or lack of, in this case). Understand that personalizing the resume to the specific opportunity will resonate well with the hiring manager. The formatting goes:

  • Contact details
  • Personal Statement
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Hobbies/Interests

Let’s take a ride through this format for further clarification.

Contact details

This is where you put your name and how people can contact you. This is usually your phone number and email address. If you are active on LinkedIn and have a professional Twitter, definitely include them. They are going to check anyway.

Regarding your address, I would recommend leaving it off. It is presumed that you live within the area that you are applying for it. Also, if you are applying across states for various reasons, it stops them throwing your resume straight in the bin because you don’t live close enough.

Personal Statement

Apart from your contact details, this is the first introduction the recruiter or hiring manager has to you. You want to make it the best representation of you as possible. They will determine from this if they want to read on or not.

Spend around 150-200 words providing a summary of your CV, highlighting key experiences and your unique selling point. Make it a unique statement to get the managers attention to read more. This statement is like your “elevator speech” and must be impactful and to the point. It is also recommended to personalize your statement to the particular job, as it illustrates a desire for the exact positon you are applying for. Many may list a personal statement of their desire to be a Master Grower, but be applying for a Lab Processing Manager. Be specific to the companies needs as you will have a higher chance to be contacted. In addition, if you write a personal statement that sound like everyone else, your resume will be placed in “the file” for future reference. You do not want to be in “the file”, as it is the graveyard of resumes.

Skills

Now the hiring manager is intrigued with your resume from your superb personal statement, the next step are your highlighted skills section.

This is where you list relevant skills to the jobs you are applying. Underneath each skill listed, you want to bullet pointed how and where you demonstrated that skill throughout your employment history. For example:

Leadership

  • Lead 12 telesales people to increase office revenue by 30% in year 1.

You want to include around 2-3 points per skill and list around 4-5 skills. The skills you decide to list depends on the jobs you are applying for. It is best to look at the personal specification of each job to find common skills. Expect to find skills such as:

  • Customer service
  • Experience leading or working within a team
  • Attention to detail
  • Friendly disposition
  • Strong communication

Experience

As the emphasis of this resume layout is on skills, you want to keep your experience section brief and to the point. In reverse chronological order, simply list your job title, employer name, location, dates worked, and a couple of bullet points listing your achievements and responsibilities there. Make sure everything is relevant in some way to the job you are applying for.

Education

Just as with the experience section, keep this short. List your qualifications in reverse chronological, with your latest educational listing on top, highlighting important and relevant certificates that can help you in the industry.

Hobbies/Interests

Most people believe that hobbies and interests are a waste of space on a resume. That’s right, if they are used incorrectly. Hobbies and interests should be used for two reasons: to demonstrate skills developed outside the employment world; and to prove yourself an interesting person.

The knack with hobbies and interests is to get really specific. A common hobby a job-seeker puts is going to the cinema. Everyone goes to the cinema and it shows no relevance to the job. But, if you are a huge Marvel fan and will debate why Spiderman is the best superhero ever for hours on end, it makes you more interesting than just going to the cinema. Heck, the interviewer may even ask you about it as they may be a fellow Marvel fan or even a DC fan with a playful passion to prove any Marvel fan wrong.

But how does this hobby and interest section have any relevance to the industry? Well, it shows you have an amazing attention to detail, you are extremely curious and are a passionate human being. In addition, you run the chance of having a connection with the hiring manager or leadership. People “like” people with a commonality, as it is a facilitator of trust and people like what they trust.

Another example could be gaming. So many skills are developed in gaming that people overlook. When you’re playing online, you are:

  • Leading a team
  • Assessing your team members’ strengths and weaknesses and developing a strategy
  • Communicating orders and executing them
  • Showing you have a really competitive personality

All of those skills and characteristics are valuable in any industry. Here is a list of valuable hobbies that get attention:

  • Yoga – Yoga demonstrates your ability to stay calm and in control
  • Extreme adventure sports
  • Video production
  • Endurance sports
  • Captain of a team sport
  • Mountain climbing

So, with your hobbies and interests section, get specific and really think about how they can prove a skill you have for the industry.

A few tips to help you on your way

Writing a resume, especially a skills-based resume, can be daunting. It is the first time your employer will come across you. You want it to be perfect.

Tip 1: Be interesting

We’ve already discussed your hobbies and interests, but it is important to think about your unique selling point (USP). What makes you special? Why should employers hire you over everyone else? It could be your years of proven experience increasing revenue. Perhaps, it’s your recent achievement as Employee of the Month. Whatever it is, flaunt it.

Tip 2: Remain professional

There is a misconception that the cannabis industry is full of “potheads” just laying about and smoking. It is completely the other way round. The industry is as professional as your banking, manufacturing, and retail industries.

But, that doesn’t mean you have to stop being you! Job-seekers often switching to being over formal with their language that they lose their personality. (P.S. if you are really formal, own it!) The best way to write is to write as if you are speaking to someone you admire and respect. It is obvious to remove foul language and other connotations, but if it is appropriate, keep the colloquialisms that make you who you are.

Tip 3: Don’t use these words

There are certain words not to use in a resume. They are:

  • Child/Parent
    • Although an employer should not discriminate against you for having a child, they may still subconsciously hold it against you. To prevent being thrown out at the first hurdle, remove any hint of being a parent from your resume.
  • Hardworking, team player, ambitious, etc.
    • An employer expects you to be hardworking, a team player, and ambitious. Don’t put these words in your resume for the sake of it. Instead, prove why you’re hardworking, a strong team player, ambitious. Anyone can write the words, but not everyone can prove it.
  • Unemployed/job-seeker
    • Using the skills-based resume, it hides gaps of unemployment. Showing signs of such periods always raise eyebrows from recruiters, even if it wasn’t your fault. To stop this from happening, do not mention any period of unemployment. However, be prepared to answer in interview if they ask.
  • Misspelled words
    • Especially when it comes to the cannabis industry, showing you pay close attention to detail is crucial. That is why you must ensure you have no misspelled words in your resume. Even just one grammatical error can cause you to not get the interview. I recommend getting a friend to look your resume over before sending it off.

Now you’re set!

With your skills-based resume in hand, showing off why you are perfect for the cannabis industry, you are ready to apply for those jobs. Make sure you’re really shown off the best side of you by telling the recruiter exactly why they should hire you. Also, don’t forget to show you’re interesting side. Recruiters see at least 200 resumes per job. At least try to make yours stand out.

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