Cannabis Resume: Journey Part 1

Your Cannabis Resume: Part 1 of 3, Journey

First, let’s address those readers who are not yet in the cannabis industry. In December 2018, the article How to Write a Cannabis Resume Based on Transferrable Skills emerged with these helpful tips for cannabis job seekers:

The cannabis industry continues to expand in the United States, opening up a diversity of job opportunities across a number of different specialties. 

While the market grows amidst lingering legislative and regulatory issues, the challenge for many job seekers lies in entering into an industry with little or no hands-on experience.

Regardless of your current or intended industry, a key aspect of successfully changing careers involves identifying and marketing your transferrable skill sets. In other words, what experience, knowledge, or skills did you acquire in your previous career that – while in a different industry – can be applied to other jobs, industries, or organizations? 

Transferrable skills are typically those which can be applied to a position regardless of the industry. They provide a potential bridge between the experience you have and that which you are trying to build, by highlighting commonalities. In other words, if you are employed in the same role at ABC company in one industry, you could easily transition into a similar position at XYZ company, despite that company being in another industry altogether. 

It’s all about providing value to a potential employer, and being able to transition seamlessly without direct experience.

Some of the fastest-growing areas have included financial and legal services, technology, software, and cultivation.”

We’ll circle back around to each of these jobs later, as well as include a few handy cheat sheets for writing your own transferable skills resume. 

I’ll use myself as an ongoing example. My journey to the steep, upper cannabis face was a long and winding endeavor, and the appearance of my resume reflects scattered dates and seemingly random freelance gigs. All of this was part of the crooked path I was led down since my official MS diagnosis over ten years ago. 

I was forced to abruptly resign due to the extent of my disabilities, and my professional self lost sight of my personal mission of spreading knowledge —and apparently my approach to life thus far: use what you learn.

Even though it had served me well in the past, my “new” and not-so-improved professional resume looked a bit like a rare Jackson Pollock painting on the page, or upon careful closer inspection, a piece quite akin to the Impressionist artwork one expects. 

In modern terms taken straight from the 1990s Amy Heckerling flick Clueless, my resume appeared on the page as a “Monét,” or pretty from a distance but a mess close-up. Or in psychological terms, a Rorshach test waiting to be taken by an unsuspecting patient. 

Since 1998, I had been teaching students at the University of West Florida about how to write a better resume. It was finally time to put my years of resume-writing to work for myself on my own resume.

In real life, it was easy for me to make the transition to the cannabis industry in my actions. Now, I needed to put my skill at crafting words to the test because I needed to reflect my actions and core beliefs on the written page.

I needed my resume to harness and focus on my educational and academic past by successfully leveraging my invaluable leadership experience as a faculty member into a viable cannabis-centric future as a medical cannabis writer and educator.

It has always been easy enough for me to critique and fix other people’s resumes; however, now I needed to successfully transition my current deeds and my course of cannabis action into the words on my resume page. I desperately needed to transfer my ammassment of past skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments earned in my past teaching career at University of  West Florida into my new career in cannabis.

I needed to rework and update my resume accordingly and started to seriously think about how to create a new cannabis resume on the page using my existing skill set.

This process required me to divide and conquer my existing resume into three distinct groups of transferable skills.

Per the referenced article by Canna Career Partners, how do you identify transferrable skills? There are THREE different brackets to consider in your candid cannabis resume writing:

  • Soft Skills / Personal Attributes

In “soft skills,” you should include personal qualities of your personality and professional character attributes, like your dependability, promptness, problem solving, creativity, and leadership behaviors. 

  •  Hard Skills 

In “hard skills,” you should include hands-on skills and capabilities, as well as your applicable actions in your past employment. You should also include acquired skills that are necessary for your success in the cannabis job of your choice— but do not limit yourself to a specific function or industry.

Rather, rely on your personal knowledge of an industry, non-professional and volunteer experience or advocacy work, and any related certifications and relevant professional education.

Examples of hard skills include writing or media portfolios, client or customer relations, sales or customer service, budgeting and inventory management, persuasive writing, and public speaking or presenting, of course. 

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills via

  •  Overlapping Experience

In this section, you should include any overlapping experience that is relevant between your past or present employment and the future job you are trying to obtain. This includes, but is not limited to, your experience working with specific customer demographics, brands, or general product categories. 

You should also include any personal knowledge you have about the industry and any non-professional experiences such as volunteer or related advocacy work.

Do the work of relating any experience that can bridge the gap between your current industry and the cannabis industry. 

Example: Combination Resume

Kina Student Resume


Extra: Related: Unique Skills to Include on Your Resume

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