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So You Want a Job in the Marijuana Industry?

October 9, 2015

So you want to work in the marijuana industry? 

Let me set the scenario-you live in a State that is launching its medical marijuana program and dispensaries are holding job fairs, collecting resumes and getting ready to narrow down their selection of final employees for the first medical marijuana jobs. You don’t have any experience but you created a resume and sent it out to every medical marijuana job opening you saw in the last six weeks and now you’re waiting to hear if you are one of the lucky ones to get an interview - and it’s like crickets out there. Nothing! No email, no phone call, nothing. What went wrong?Well, first things first. I have been recruiting for most of my career. In the past, when a job opportunity was posted, on average 90% of the resumes that were received were on target. The applicant had read the job description, understood the job qualifications and if they met those requirements, they would then present us with a thought out and well crafted resume that showcased their skills. They took the opportunity to personalize their objectives and really sell themselves. If a telephone interview was scheduled, the person was on time and the call was handled in a professional manner, using appropriate language. If the candidate found themselves in a position to get to the next step which was the “in person” interview, they were prepared, on time, if not early, and professionally dressed. The candidates did what they could to impress the hiring manager so that they would get the job. Now let’s talk about what we see here at HempStaff on a daily basis. Whereas 90% of the resumes received were spot on, 90% of the resumes received for those looking to start a Medical Marijuana Career are completely unqualified for the job posted. When they are lucky enough to get contacted for an interview (telephone or in person), many don’t reply to confirm for days, they are late or no show completely. If I have a pile of fairly equal resumes, and a candidate doesn’t reply in 24 hours, I’m not waiting for you - I’ve moved on to the next candidate.So let’s start at the beginning. If you are looking to get into an industry that you have never worked in before, such as the medical marijuana industry, then you should perhaps look for entry level jobs. There are about 200 resumes received every time an entry level job is posted. So, if don’t have any experience, you are going to have a lot of competition. How is your resume going to stand out? Medical Marijuana Training - that’s how! When we have 20 applicants that all have around the same level of customer service background and all other factors are about equal, then we want to know who went out there to better themselves. Who took the step and had the motivation to get some training for the medical marijuana jobs they are seeking.If you have never worked legally in this industry and apply for a master grower position with requirements that clearly say the candidate needs 5 years or more, LEGAL commercial growing experience, your resume is generally just tossed out. It’s not kept on file; it’s removed from the system. Why? If 50 people followed directions and you did not, we are going with one of the 50 that did follow the directions first. Additionally, please don’t try to justify your non legal experience as a reason why you should be considered for a job that you don’t meet the requirements for. The MMJ industry is doing its best to be as professional as possible going forward. Business owners spend a lot of money to open their centers and shops so the last thing anyone wants to hear about is your illegal activity that also includes conversations you have with medical marijuana recruiters, such as HempStaff. Bragging about what you do in your friend’s garage is just going to get your resume tossed. So, you did everything we suggested, got your resume in order, highlighted your skills, looked for spelling errors, didn’t mention anything illegal and still can’t figure out what they haven’t returned any of the last 15 emails you sent out from Bigdaddykush@gmail.com or littlemaryjane@hotmail.com. Make sure your email is professional! There are so many free email services out there, please obtain a professional one like first initial and last name, BEFORE sending anything out. Hiring managers look at every detail to see who you are and emails such as the example above, just scream NOT professional. 

In short, the medical marijuana industry is just like any other industry, first impressions are seldom changed — be sure your first impression is your best one!

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