How to Build Your Resume for the Cannabis Industry

Mike King/Jul 12, 2021

hero-graphic-How to Build Your Resume for the Cannabis Industry

Writing the right resume for cannabis

No matter your career, and no matter if you’re breaking in or leveling up, your resume is an essential tool in finding the right job. Cannabis jobs are certainly no exception. But when it comes to building your resume for the cannabis industry, there are some go-to tips that help put you on the top of the pile.

Start with a resume template Whether it’s the resume template included with Microsoft Word, Google Docs or even the results from a quick Google search, having a good foundation makes the entire process a lot easier, faster and a lot more professional-looking. Find a template that feels right for you and use it as your basis for how to fill out your resume.

Lead with your personal information The header of your resume is where to include your personal and contact information, and, believe it or not, a lot of people don’t put in much effort here. Be sure to include your name, email, phone number and home address in an easy-to-read way.  Your potential employer will appreciate it when it’s time to contact you. Trust us on this one.

Highlight your work experience Cannabis is still a new industry, which means there’s not a lot of experience working for cannabis-related businesses. So, if you have that experience, always lead with it because if you have it, you’ll stand out in a big way. And if you don’t have it, don’t worry and be sure to list your relevant work experience. After all, cannabis employers are always looking for the right people, cannabis experience or not!

Show off your strengths Maybe you have some retail experience that makes you a pro at both point-of-sale systems and customer interactions. Maybe you know the latest accounting or order management software like the back of your hand. Maybe you’re a fast learner who’s not afraid to ask questions. No matter what you’re good at, don’t be afraid to bring those strengths to your resume under a “skills” or “strengths” section.

No cannabis experience? No problem. Cannabis has a lot of translatable skills. Breaking into cannabis doesn’t always require cannabis experience. In fact, there are all kinds of relevant skills that translate perfectly to the cannabis industry, all of which are great to include on your resume. Here’s a quick overview:

  1. Experience working within a regulated industry: Cannabis is highly regulated and even if you don’t have experience in the industry, experience in a regulated industry such as alcohol or pharmaceuticals goes a long way for your job prospects. 
  2. Startup experience: Between the tight budgets, fast-paced environments and need to wear many different hats in a given day, start-ups are a lot like cannabis. Be sure to include that experience in your resume.
  3. Sales skills and experience: If you love the thrill of the sale, then there’s probably a place for you in the cannabis industry. All cannabis companies that have sellable products are looking for reliable salespeople. You could be next.
  4. The ability to self-teach: One of the most successful ways to get a handle on the cannabis industry is simply the willingness to learn and ask questions. If you’re this type of person, don’t be shy about it on your resume or during your interview.
  5. Cost accounting expertise: If you’ve got accounting experience, cannabis businesses will be interested. Lean into your past experiences, certifications, and your ability to keep solid books amidst an industry full of changes and pivots.
  6. Digital marketing, web development and IT skills: Like most industries today, digital skills are essential. Cannabis companies of all sizes are looking for people who are knowledgeable and passionate about digital marketing, development, social media and more.

Tweak your resume for a particular job Sometimes adjusting your resume to better match the position you’re applying for makes you a better match for the job. A good tip for how to do this is by thoroughly reviewing the job description and tweaking your resume for that particular position. Highlight work experience, skills, certifications and more that show you’re the right fit for the job. 

Make your case in a professional summary Think of your professional summary as an “elevator pitch” for why you should be hired. This is generally a 3 to 5 sentence summary about yourself, your skills, your experience, and most importantly, why you’re the right person for the job. This is a great place to communicate your passion for the industry—something a lot of employers will notice.

A little resume work goes a long way As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so does the importance of standing out from the competition. Getting your resume “cannabis ready” by highlighting work experience, relevant skills and including a passionate professional summary can literally and figuratively put you on the top of the pile. 

When your resume is good to go and you’re ready to find the right cannabis job for you, we’re here to help. If you haven’t yet, take a moment to sign up and create your Vangst profile and check out the jobs available in your location. 

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