Throughout my human resources career I have done a lot of recruiting. Recruiters have many different ways to source candidates. My favourite? When someone I know recommends an applicant.

This works well for two reasons. First, the person who is referring the candidate is likely familiar with my business and has a basic understanding of what I'm looking for. Second, when they recommend someone they are putting their name on the line, so the candidate comes with a built in recommendation.

That's great for the recruiter. What about the candidate?

Here's the truth. When you submit your resume for a job, so do 50 other people (and that's a conservative estimate.) Unless you have the perfect combination of experience and education for the role there is little to set you apart from the crowd. The recruiter has a lot of resumes to look through, so they're moving quickly. Unless something special catches their eye, they're going to keep searching.

Now imagine if you had an acquaintance that knows someone in the company where you're applying and is willing to mention your name. There is a good chance you're resume is now sitting on the top of the pile. It doesn't guarantee you'll get the job but it does ensure you'll get a look.

Relationships are key. If you want to increase your chances of getting a job in the cannabis industry, you need to go out and build relationships.

Here's how to get started. Search online to see what cannabis clubs, chapters or associations exist in your city. Then find a way to get involved – volunteer or offer to help. Find out what cannabis events or conferences are happening. Buy a ticket and participate. Follow key industry members on social media. Comment on their updates and share information you think would be relevant to them.

These are all ways to build relationships. Let's be realistic – not every connection is going to lead to a job offer. But these activities put you in the industry and at the very least give you something relevant to put on your resume.

Relationships take time to build. More and more people will realize the potential of the cannabis industry and decide to look for work in the sector. Competition will become fierce. Start building now.