The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the legal cannabis industry will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. That’s a huge number. It’s also one that doesn’t take into account additional states legalizing either medical or recreational marijuana — a move that could double the amount of new and available positions.
If there ever was a good time to consider making an industry change — or to finally pursue that cannabis job you’ve been thinking about for months — now is it. But how do you make yourself stand out from a field of qualified applicants? We’ve rounded up the top four skills cannabis employers are looking for in new hires. Honing these skills now and highlighting them on your résumé when the time comes, is a surefire way to ensure you land that dream job in cannabis.
The cannabis industry is new. It’s also growing and innovating daily at a fast clip. It faces legal challenges that no other industry does. Employees who are creative, who can come up with solutions to problems that arise, and who can think of inventive ways to apply technology to the budding industry are highly sought out. Most cannabis companies are starting at the same place, and the businesses that are the most creative and innovative have a shot at becoming industry leaders. Employees with proven creative experience that can elevate a company to that next level are in high demand.
2. An Entrepreneurial Spirit
The cannabis industry is like one giant startup. Employees who have more of an entrepreneurial spirit, who are willing to start early and work late, who love the idea of building a business from the ground up, and who embrace innovation are huge assets. Bringing on an employee who comes to the business with well-formed ideas about things like new menu options, programs, and seasonal boosters can make all the difference in setting one cannabis company apart from its competitors.
3. Professional Versatility
Traditional industries typically look for employees who are highly experienced and specialized in one arena, whether it be customer service, human resources, or marketing. The cannabis industry doesn’t have that luxury. Instead, employers seek out those who have some amount of professional versatility. They want someone who can move seamlessly from serving customers to doing industry research, to managing production and thinking of advertising campaigns. This is one instance where having a wide and varied résumé can be a huge asset, so go ahead and highlight the different types of jobs you’ve held and the skills you’ve learned.
While there is certainly no expectation that you have to hold a degree in a cannabis-related field in order to land a cannabis-related job, CBS News reports that most employers are more likely to hire someone who has had at least some industry education. Curious candidates who are interested in educating themselves about cannabis will set themselves apart. If you’re serious about landing a job in cannabis, it might be in your best interest to take a class or finish a compliance course (and then highlight that on your résumé) before applying. We’ve rounded up some of the best certification options here.
Interested in working in cannabis? Explore our specialized cannabis division HerbForce to start your search.