Resume writing for the cannabis industry

If you're thinking of looking for work in the cannabis industry, here are some tips to help your resume and cover letter stand out

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.

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.

Resume

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 Requirements                           My Expertise

Tracking plants                                 5 years lot/batch tracking & release

SOP writing                                      Wrote and amended SOPS, trained employees

Evaluate equipment sanitation         Preformed 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.

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