How To Optimize Your Resume For A Career In Cannabis

1. What is the Current State of Jobs in the Cannabis Industry

An effective and well-structured resume is a key component when applying to jobs nowadays. This is even true when it comes to the cannabis industry. As this particular business sector continues to grow, the need for more workers is going to grow, as well. According to the 2021 Leafly Jobs Report referenced in an Insider article, currently 321,000 Americans are employed full-time in the cannabis industry.

In 2020 alone, over 77,000 jobs were added to the cannabis sector. While there was a substantial growth in jobs, there was almost zero growth when it came to diversity and inclusivity around cannabis. This is a trend that needs to change as this industry keeps growing and legalization continues across the U.S., ultimately creating more jobs.

If a job in the cannabis industry is appealing to you, there has never been a better time to start on that career path. Crafting a resume that highlights your skills by demonstrating your value in quantifiable terms is essential if you want to land an interview. Your resume is basically your elevator pitch, so make it stand out.

In order to build a solid and well-rounded resume for the cannabis industry, there are a few basic sections that should be included. Things you will definitely want to have listed are a professional summary, education, previous work history, and illustrate your hard and soft skills that make you a perfect fit for the role. When you are writing out your resume, use the active voice when describing your skills that make you an asset for the position.


2. How to Structure a Cannabis Resume, With and Without Experience

Whether or not you have had prior experience working in the cannabis industry, the information going on your resume should be relevant to the job for which you are applying. If you have hands-on experience working with cannabis in any legal capacity, make sure that time is highlighted along with the knowledge and skills you learned in the position.

Not having direct experience working in the cannabis sector is not a deal breaker by any means if you’re looking to get your foot in the door. There are a lot of transferable skill sets from other industries and jobs that can certainly be applied to a career in cannabis. Prior experience working in a heavily regulated field, such as healthcare or banking, can make you a valuable asset to any cannabis company.

The hard and soft skills in your resume should demonstrate how you will benefit this company. Be clear and concise, but specific, in your descriptions. Use hard numbers and facts to showcase the specifics of your past responsibilities and achievements. Even if none of your prior work history has hard numbers to pull from, there are still ways to convey a quantifiable experience. Aspects such as range, frequency, and scale can help put numbers to softer skills that can be more difficult to quantify.

When structuring your resume, it is a good idea to choose from a basic and straightforward template. The layout should be easy for the hiring manager to scan through your information. Make everything easy to find for them.

If, after going through all your relevant work experience and skills, it still doesn’t feel like there is enough on your resume to make an impact, write a cover letter. This is where you can give a more detailed account of your value as an employee. It’s an excellent way to show you’ve done research on the company, have some industry knowledge, and express your enthusiasm.


3. What Can a Career in Cannabis Look Like

There are more jobs in the cannabis industry aside from just plant touching ones. Those tend to be the ones that first come to people’s minds, but there are a multitude of career choices available in this business sector.

This comprehensive list discusses current types of careers available in cannabis. To name a few, job titles include:

  1. Budtender
  2. Trimmer
  3. Edible baker/maker
  4. Grower
  5. Accountant
  6. Security guard
  7. Delivery drivers
  8. Social media and content creators
  9. Marketing and branding
  10. Research and development specialists
  11. Cannabis Advocacy


As is apparent, there are plenty of career opportunities in the cannabis industry that have nothing to do with coming into direct, daily contact with the plant. If you’ve never held a job in the cannabis sector before, there are clear connections to jobs from corporate America that would be great for getting your foot in the door. When you find an opportunity that you want to apply for, take the time to tailor your resume to best fit the job description.


4. The Takeaway

Ultimately, not having previous experience working in cannabis isn’t going to hold you back if you want to make the career change. The important thing is how you build your resume and what you include in it.

Looking for getting hands on help with your resume and Linkedin? Check out our 8 steps to being job search ready in Cannabis career course here.