About the Book

The Candy Maker Resume reveals resume writing hacks per the Resume Psychology series.

The Candy Maker Resume is the essential how-to for creating consistent resume content. Its purpose is to teach people how to hack their resume content consistently so it scores well with the technology and engages the human reader.

The Candy Maker Resume reviews the resume of our new friend and professional candy-maker Sara Elf. We transform her 3-word resume from a vague document to one where her expertise is self-evident.

These techniques will not only help Sara’s resume, but they will help you as well. Inside The Candy Maker Resume we learn more about:

  • Expand the work-vocabulary to expand your content
  • How detail is the key to demonstrating scale
  • How to repeat content in multiple contexts
  • Make compound statements more readable
  • How common-behaviors stops disqualifying questions


About the Author

Dirk Spencer is a former government analyst, turned corporate recruiter and is the author of Resume Psychology Resume Hacks & Traps Revealed – Beat the Machine. Be Seen. Get Hired! and The Candy Maker Resume – Resume Writing Hacks.

Dirk shares his technical and process insights to help people hack their resumes to be more effective when applying to jobs online.

Mr. Spencer has presented Resume Psychology and The Candy Maker Resume to several professional associations from Dallas to Denver, including: Pikes Peak Recruiter Network, Inter-City Personnel Associates, Executive Search Owners Association, American Society for Quality Conferences, National Investor Relations Institute, International Institute of Business Analysis, Intuit Women’s Network, Texas Workforce Commission and Dallas Fort Worth Texas Recruiters Network (DFWTRN).

He has also volunteered his time to Career Transition Groups such as: Career Jump Start FUMC Richardson, Carrollton Career Focus Group, Carrollton City Job Hunt 101, Crossroads Bible Church Career Transition, Fort Worth Career Search Network, FWCSN Resume Boot Camp Job Angels Network, MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church, Preston Trail Job Network, McKinney Workforce Networking, Southlake Focus Group.

Dirk has also presented to diverse ecumenical groups as well: Jewish Family Service (JFS), Career Counseling Group of DFW Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT), Career Counseling Group of DFW Islamic Center of Irving (ICI), McKinney Trinity


Question Time
Tell us about your book “Candy Maker Resume” I believe it’s a part of your Resume psychology series, but what is different in this book?

People wanted an example or template they could follow. The Candy Maker Resume is the “how-to” portion of resume development for people who are not sure what to do.

The book certainly takes an amusing approach, focus on using Sara Elf as an example.  Sara, a candy maker by trade has a very simple resume, until she learns of the Resume hacks.  Why did you take this approach for this book?

We learn best when we help others. Even if the person is a fictional-elf. The sample resume only has three-keywords (Candy, Made, Sold) and people have to extrapolate a full-blown resume from nothing. My goal is to walk people through that experience so they learn without stressing out about their resume.

Who would this book appeal to?  Are there any particular people out there that fall into the “Sara Elf” category?

People who find themselves wondering “where do I start” or “how do I begin” the resume construction process. The book provides a step-by-step path to creating consistent and relevant material.

What is the best way for someone to set them apart from a crowd, when writing their resume?

All keywords must be presented in the context of their expertise. To accomplish this, the writer avoids any and all forms of hyperbole. This means avoiding marketing hype at all costs. Be disciplined in this rule and the context materializes by default.

One of your chapters is called “Will this get me Hired”, but there have been many stories of employees getting fired for what they have added… or rather fabricated on their resumes.  Do you have any tips that will help some write a good, enticing CV, but still keeping to the truth?

The statement “will this get me hired” is designed to get people to think critically about their resume content. The hope is it will move people off trite-phrases like “knowledgeable, analytical and professional” on purpose and drill down to the actual “expertise.”

So if someone think’s they have the perfect resume, but still can’t seem to get hired… what can they do, how can they get out of that situation?

Get help. But instead of hiring a resume writer, hiring an editor. Go online. One place to check is Fiverr.Com. There are others. People can Google for other options.

With Fiverr, for $5 bucks, people can hire an editor. This is powerful help for the price.

Have the editor review verb-agreement, typos and word-choice and hyperbole. A fresh set of professional eyes can fix a bad first draft in ways a resume writer cannot. 

What would be your advice to someone who has had similar jobs at perhaps different companies, and wanted to try something new.  How can they portray that they want to do this, and more importantly could have the skills to work in a different role/environment?

We’ve touched on this before – the resume is not a job or career transition tool. For people to transition to a new job, it is important to sell transferable skills with an existing employer. People need to volunteer for projects in other departments. People need to aggressively network with peers in their targeted profession. Then, for maximum effect, people should develop and share content about their target-career online as their social proof of commitment.

You weren’t always a recruiter, tell us more about your background, and how you ended up in the world of recruitment, and guiding candidates on their career paths?

I was a computer guy. The training taught me the bits and bytes of software databases. Recruiting was an accident. A recruiter-friend asked me to do candidate searches part-time on the side. Six months later, another recruiter who tried placing me as a project manager introduced me to the VPI of an agency. They hired me full-time. Technically, it was passive networking into a new career.  


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