How to Successfully Apply for Jobs in the Cannabis Industry.
When looking at the cannabis industry it is hard to not recognize the growth opportunities present on the investment and employment sides. As a Talent Acquisition firm in the cannabis industry, it is our job to find our client’s the best talent for their open positions. Sometimes this talent requires experience in the cannabis industry and other times it requires experience in other industries like finance, human resources, and marketing.
At this point, you might find yourself wondering, “How do I get cannabis experience if the industry is so new?!”
Well, the answer to that is two-fold, if you had the opportunity to work in the Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, or California markets you would have been able to work with some of the big name companies like Willie’s Reserve, Marley’s Naturals, Pax or Leafly during their earlier market expansions. If you were fortunate enough to ride the earlier waves of the professional cannabis industry, it is important to utilize your existing network to share opportunities with others in your network.
If you didn’t, no worries, there are TONS of ways for you to get involved within the industry. However, the most important piece advice to remember is to not apply for jobs that you are not qualified for. Attending networking events with the NCIA, Women Grow, or SSDP will allow you to understand the potential jobs that await you.
Sometimes it’s a big undertaking to attend an event and you might think to yourself “ I can’t make the time to attend a networking event or pay for the cost of these events.” To that I say, you CAN make the time to attend an event and you can pay for the event, you’ll just have to make the commitment to attend or sacrifice your free time to volunteer and help out. The relationships you build during these networking events can help give you insider tips and insights to propel your career in the right direction.
Now that we’ve broken down the networking part of the industry it’s time to look at how to apply for a job in the industry online. When reading through the job boards online, job seekers may find opportunities on sites like Vangst Talent Network, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Angel List, and Vangsters. Just like any other job, it is important for you to READ THROUGH THE JOB DESCRIPTION. It is important that you understand the entire scope of the role as well as the qualifications required to be successful in that position.
If a recruiter or hiring company does not call you back ask yourself, “am I qualified for this job, is my Linkedin profile up to date, is my resume up to date and accurate?”
As someone on the hiring end, the most frustrating part of my job is sifting through resumes of candidates who have a completly irrelevant experience to my client’s job description. HOWEVER, if you feel compelled to apply for a job that does not fit who you are on paper, I would encourage you to write a personalized cover letter explaining why you think your skill set makes you a great fit for the role. After reading the cover letter it is now up to the hiring manager or recruiter to decide whether or not they’re going to take a chance on you as a candidate.
Now that you’ve applied for a job it’s time to wait. If you have a good resume/relevant experience, and you know it, hiring companies will call you back. If you don’t, think about ways that you could improve your experience. You’re probably thinking “Well how do I learn new skills if I don’t have a new job??” Very easily, dear job seeker, you can sign up for an online class, sign up for a FREE webinar, attend a networking event, essentially take the initiative to become the most sought after candidate in the cannabis industry. It’s possible, it just takes effort and initiative.
Transitioning into the cannabis industry is a commitment and the first step to a successful journey is making sure that you and your resume are job interview ready! The best way to do that is to submit your resume and general job inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or apply directly to our website at www.vangsttalent.com. We are proud to be your cannabis job resource and will contact you when we have a position that best fits your background.
In the meantime, check out some of our Cannabis Staffing Blog to learn more tips and tricks to mastering the cannabis industry!
Writing a cover letter and resume for any position can be daunting at the best of times, even when you have experience in the field you’re applying for. With cannabis being a new industry in Canada, very few people have experience tailoring a resume to this sector.
So how can you make your resume stand out in this industry?
- Include a cover letter. It gives you a chance to explain why you’re a great candidate.
- Instead of the usual cover letter jargon, show your knowledge about Cannabis. Explain in a straightforward manner what you know about the cannabis sector and why you’re interested in working in this field.
- Keep your resume and cover letter professional. Choose words like “cannabis” instead of “weed” or “pot”.
- If you don’t have a specific qualification they’re asking for, use your cover letter to explain how your experience is transferrable.
- Research the company and explain how your values align with theirs.
- If you have experience with cannabis, even if on a personal level, we recommend a way to communicate this professionally in your cover letter.
For example, let’s say a candidate has a science degree and has been working in QA for the last ten years in the food and pharmaceutical industry. This person has come across a posting for a QA Associate and would like to apply. Some of the qualifications required for this posting are:
- Writing and amending SOPS.
- Tracking of individual marijuana plants and the harvested bulk.
- Evaluate and approve sanitation of equipment.
- Previous Health Canada Security Clearance and work experience with a Canadian Licensed Producer (LP) is an asset.
The beginning of this candidate's cover letter might look something like this:
Dear Hiring Manager,
Having attained my science degree in 2008, I am very excited to apply for the position of QA Associate with your company.
I truly believe in the healing power of cannabis and I am thrilled to find a position where I can apply my passion for cannabis. This knowledge, along with my science degree and my previous experience with QA systems, makes me an excellent candidate for this position.
While I do not have experience with an LP, I am confident that upon meeting me you will discover I am a fast learner with a passion for the cannabis industry and I will be able to quickly overcome this shortcoming in my experience. I have reviewed the Security Clearance Application process and I am confident my approval will not be an issue.
For your resume, you might want to pull 3-5 of the qualifications they’re looking for and show how your experience and skills directly relate:
Your RequirementsMy Expertise
Tracking plants5 years lot/batch tracking & release
SOP writing Wrote and amended SOPS, trained employees
Evaluate equipment sanitationPreformed equipment safety inspections
Liaising with Health Canada Reported to Health Canada regularly
To get the most traction for your resume, we suggest the following tips:
- Start with the basics: make sure your resume is professional and error-free.
- Where you have transferrable experience, highlight this in the job history section by including a few points explaining how your skills are transferrable.
- After submitting your resume, don’t be shy to follow up a couple days after submitting the resume, or after the closing date of the job posting.
Your cover letter and resume are the first impression you’ll make on a new employer. Get their attention early by explaining why you’re perfect for the job, and keep their attention throughout by demonstrating professionalism and your knowledge about the cannabis industry.
Featured image by Flazingo Photos.