The Do’s and Don’ts: Landing a Job in the Cannabis Space
There is no one right way to landing a position in the cannabis industry. This is a competitive industry, with growing opportunities and many individuals seeking to get in from the ground up. But the landscape is changing, regulations are put in place to raise the standard of our industry and we are seeing requirements for jobs rising, hiring processes increasing, government officials becoming stricter on cannabis employee requirements, and much more. Even though there is not one specific way to landing a job, we can provide you with the Do’s and Don’ts of how to get that job!
YOUR RESUME –
DO: Think of your resume as your first chance to persuade the employer that you are the best fit for the role that you are applying for. There are many online platforms that will assist you in creating a professional resume; even HempStaff offers our unique resume review service, but there are always specific sections that should ALWAYS be present on your resume. Acknowledge the position, list the professional skills you have the will be required to utilize for the role you are applying for, list company names, titles you held, and your dates of employment in your work history; your employer needs to be able to validate what you are saying. Additionally, any education or certifications should be listed as well.
DO NOT: We cannot say this enough, DO NOT add any illegal experience on your resume. An employer who reads, “I have personally been growing cannabis for the last 30 years” is going to automatically assume this was illegal experience and they will throw your resume out and if you are lucky, they won’t blacklist you from ever applying to that company. This industry is highly regulated, your illegal experience may help you after you have landed the job but it’s not going to help you get the job. Employers want individuals who understand the importance of compliance, seed to sale tracking, pos systems, inventory control, etc. Because if the employee does not know how to follow federal, state, and local regulations, it is the EMPLOYER who will be at risk of loosing their business.
DO NOT: Add your extracurricular activities on your resume, a business owner doesn’t care if you were a contestant on jeopardy once or that you like taking long walks on the beach. That is NOT RELEVANT to the job you are applying for.(Unless it’s a “Game Show Contestant” or a “Professional Beach Walker” position.)
THE JOB SEARCH –
DO: Find out what government agency runs your states specific cannabis program. Usually this is the Department of Health, their website will almost always have information on the license holders, employment process (some states require an agent card prior to employment like Colorado and Nevada), news updates, and other pertinent information regarding your state’s rec and/or medical cannabis program.
DO: Always look for the licensed companies’ website. Usually at the top or the bottom of their webpage there will be a link listed as, “CAREERS.” If you can apply to a position directly on a company’s website, DO IT! Third-party platforms like Indeed and Zip Recruiter get flooded with hundreds and hundreds of resumes for each posted position. Hiring managers will look for resumes submitted directly to them before they will be reviewing resumes submitted on a third-party platform.
DO NOT: Send your resume to a company’s email saying, “I am looking for a job.” They will automatically throw it out, customer service inboxes get flooded, they will not look at your resume.
DO NOT: Send your resume or describe your experience in lengthy detail over a social media platform, this is unprofessional and more than likely the social media manager has absolutely nothing to do with the hiring process.
THE FOLLOW UP –
After submitting your resume or attending an interview, there is an anxious feeling that overcomes you. You desperately want to know if they reviewed your resume or if you landed the job. The key is to not be too pushy but to be proactive.
DO: At the end of your interview, be sure to ask the hiring manager when you should expect to hear back from them so that they can give you a set time frame. If they don’t get back to you, that is your opportunity to reach out to them.
DO: After submitting your resume for a position, wait a few days to a week to follow up. Locate an email address and send them a short and simple email, “I applied for XYZ position on XYZ date, and I was just following up to see if my resume has been reviewed.” No email address? Find a contact number.
DO NOT: Be TOO pushy, do not reach out right after you have submitted your resume, give the hiring managers time to review it and get back to you. If an employer sets a time frame on when they will respond to you, do not reach out prior then or a week after the deadline set. Be punctual, do not be pushy!
ONGOING GOALS –
DO: Stay up to date on all of your state’s cannabis and hemp news, new bills may be filed, new conditions approved, etc. You want to make sure you are aware of everything that is going on not only in your state but on a federal level as well!
DO: Advocate! It is our voice that allows for cannabis reform to continue, never forget to use it!
DO: CONTINUE EDUCATING YOURSELF – Seminars, expos, college education, certifications, online cannabis training, hands-on experience working with consumers/cardholders, community advocation, never forget that you will never stop learning in the cannabis industry. We at HempStaff always say, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
DO NOT: GIVE UP! The job seeking process can be long and frustrating, but do not give up. If you do not think that something you are doing is getting you anywhere in landing a job, then change your direction! Remember, there is no one right way; you just need to be able to motivate yourself and take the initiative to change direction if needed.
Cannabis employment opportunities will continue to grow as we continue to push for cannabis reform. These tips may be simple, but they are important in successfully guiding you throughout your job search!