There are many ways to impress a hiring manager when you’re trying to get a job. Most people just apply online, but Karly Pavlinac Blackburn took inspiration from the age-old saying, “the way to someone's heart is through their stomach.” In a viral LinkedIn post, she detailed how she submitted her résumé on a cake while also demonstrating the teamwork it took to make it happen.
Blackburn really wants a job at Nike. But in a world filled with qualified candidates, it can be hard to stand out. And what’s even more challenging is that she wants a job within the company’s Valiant Labs, which acts as a startup incubator for Nike ideas. “They are not currently hiring for any positions on that team,” Blackburn writes, “but I wanted to find some way for the team to know who I was.”
Blackburn wanted to send the cake on a specific day—JDI day (Just Do It day)—that sees the likes of LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick at a company-wide event. “What better way than to send a cake to a big party,” she explains. The planning then began, and it was full of logistical challenges. “How could I get an edible résumé on top of a cake delivered to a party (I wasn’t invited to), to THE team I wanted it to go to, from North Carolina all the way to Beaverton, Oregon?”
The 27-year-old found an Albertson’s grocery store that would make a cake with an edible picture on it. She then used Instacart to get the dessert from the store to Nike’s headquarters. At this point, it wouldn’t have been possible without her Instacart shopper Denise Baldwin.
“I talked to Denise on the phone and she said to me, ‘Karly I know this is important to you, and I will do whatever IT takes to get this cake to where it needs to be.’” Baldwin navigated the Nike campus, cake in hand, and eventually got it to the right department. “I waited, and they called him down. It took a few minutes, and then he came down,” the Instacart shopper recalled. “He said to me, ‘Oh, a cake, it’s too nice for me to cut it into.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, it’s, it’s pretty awesome the way she thought of putting her résumé. It’s kind of what Nike needs: thinking out of the box and initiative…”
Blackburn doesn’t know the outcome of her cake résumé, but something positive came out of making her idea happen. “Regardless if I get a job at Nike, the best thing to hear that day was Denise saying, ‘You have inspired me. This was meant to be. I am a mom and I am tired of doing Instacart. I know I have more abilities and qualifications to get something better. I'm so glad this worked for the both of us.’”