A laid-off North Carolina woman who printed her resume on a cake and sent it to Nike says ‘getting rejection after rejection is hard’ but job-seekers have to trust themselves

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OCTOBER 8, 2022

Karly Pavlinac Blackburn (Courtesy of Karly Pavlinac Blackburn) Karly Pavlinac Blackburn

  • Karly Pavlinac Blackburn is a current job seeker in North Carolina who is passionate about startups.
  • She printed her resume on a cake to send to Nike’s HQ in Beaverton, Oregon, with the help of a committed Instacart driver.
  • Blackburn said a former colleague told her to think outside the box to get the company’s attention.

Karly Pavlinac Blackburn had been laid off from her corporate job when she had an idea to print her resume on a cake and send it to Nike.

“I was fully prepared to buy this cake and just have it sit some random place somewhere,” Blackburn, 27, told Insider. But with the help of a friend, a bakery, and a dedicated Instacart driver, her resume cake would land in the hands of the operations specialist she connected with at Nike’s Valiant Labs.

Blackburn, who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina and has been looking for a job in product marketing, said she came across Valiant Labs, a startup incubator within Nike that she said “resonates” with her background.

Blackburn told Insider learned more about Valiant Labs after speaking with operations specialist Mac Myers, and although she discovered that the company was not hiring at the moment, she still wanted to put her name on their radar.

Blackburn had gotten the idea for a cake resumé from her former colleague, who told her she had to think outside the box if she was going to get the company’s attention.

After some research, she said she discovered a publicity event was taking place in early September in Beaverton, Oregon.

“I was like, ‘What better a time to send a cake than to a party, right?'” Blackburn said.

She ordered the cake and an Instacart driver to pick it up for delivery to The Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

The driver, Denise Baldwin, told Insider she was “extremely shocked” when she saw the cake.

“I wasn’t really expecting such a nice layout, detailed resume on a cake. I’ve never seen that before,” Baldwin said.

Karly Pavlinac Blackburn resume cake (Courtesy of Karly Pavlinac Blackburn) Karly Pavlinac Blackburn

Blackburn explained to Baldwin on the day of delivery through the Instacart app during pickup that she had been laid off from work and was passionate about the job with Valiant Labs. She said Baldwin promised that she’d get the cake into the right hands — Myers’.

Baldwin was tasked with navigating the 286-acre Nike campus, finding her way through a party, and finding Myers —  all with a cake and her eight-month-old son who was in tow.

“Not only was it was amazing for me to be on the campus, but to find out I was there that day when all that stuff was going on was even more like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is happening,'” Baldwin said.

She communicated with security while corresponding with Blackburn to make sure the cake made it to Myers. Baldwin said she was given a map and a ride around campus to locate Myers before she was told he was in the Lebron James building. Security offered for her to leave the cake at the front desk, where they would put his name on it, Baldwin said.

She declined. Wanting to make sure Blackburn’s resume made it to Myers personally, she instead decided to wait by the front desk at the Lebron James building with her son until Myers was called down.

When he arrived, Myers called the cake “neat” and said he didn’t even want to cut into it, Baldwin recalled.

She then sent a picture confirmation to Blackburn that the mission was accomplished.

“I sent it to Karly for a confirmation so that she knew that it got exactly to the person she needed it to be to, and she could have peace of mind knowing that her effort was received,” Baldwin said.

“She waited for him to come up, and she gave it to Mac and got the cake in the right place, and all while holding her son in one arm and cake in the other,” Blackburn said. “I don’t know how she did that. She was amazing. It’s crazy.”

Baldwin told Insider that she treats every delivery with the same dedication and service because that’s how she was raised.

“I was just doing what I normally do, and making sure that it got there,” Baldwin said. “But I think I put a little bit more because I knew it was a resume and she really wanted this job. And I knew that if it was me and I wanted to go for Nike, that I’d want somebody to take the time and put in the effort.”

While Baldwin and Blackburn have not met in person, they’ve become long-distance friends. Baldwin, who is a pregnant mother of three, said Blackburn offered to mentor her.

“We talk every day, send messages,” Baldwin said. “She found out I don’t have a computer, and I do everything on my phone, and so she’s sending me a computer.”

Blackburn, who is still searching for a job that most resonates with her, said she has talked with multiple companies since she posted about her cake on LinkedIn. She said staying remaining confident in the job-seeking process has kept her resilient.

“I’ve had other people reach out saying messages of how this has inspired them, and that’s a really cool thing about LinkedIn in a community when something gets posted and shared, is that not just the people that were part of the Nike cake that day were affected, as other people hearing this story and knowing that they can go out and do whatever it is that they want to do,” Blackburn said.

She added: “Getting rejection after rejection is hard to see. But the thing is, you just have to trust yourself and know that you’re amazing and that you have great skills and qualities to offer to whatever company or job that you’re applying for. And then the right fit will happen.”


Source /Courtesy: INSIDER

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