The resume ended up on a cake, but the friendship that formed, as a result, is freshly baked.
The cake resume that went viral on LinkedIn
On September 2nd, the day after Karly Pavlinac Blackburn got laid off, she was talking to friend Trent Gander about how to get her job applications noticed.
“He was like, ‘If you’re applying for a creative company, be creative. Put your resume on a cake. Put your resume up on a billboard,'” Blackburn told Entrepreneur.
So, she did — and sent it to Nike.
Blackburn’s LinkedIn post about the whole event sparked over 4,000 comments and 100,000 likes, including for the heroism of (and now friendship with) Denise Baldwin, who delivered the cake via Instacart all the way into a Nike building during a party on its Beaverton campus.
A delicious idea
After being laid off from a previous role, Blackburn found out about the Valiant Labs division at Nike, a company incubator. She said the company spoke to her entrepreneurial spirit (Blackburn had previously founded and sold a fitness app), so she decided to try and get the company’s attention by sending a cake with her resume on top of it to Nike’s 50th anniversary “(Just Do It) Day” at Nike World Headquarters, the company’s flagship office, on September 8.
Blackburn located an Albertson’s grocery store in the area that had the technology to print photos on a cake and booked an Instacart driver on the morning of the party.
“[I was] a little bit surprised,” to see a resume on the cake, the Instacart driver, Denise Baldwin, told Entrepreneur.
She called Blackburn and learned about her plan and promised she would get the cake into the hands of her desired target — Mac Myers, operations specialist at Valiant Labs.
“When I said that, I knew in my heart I wasn’t just going to leave it with anybody,” Baldwin added.
Not taking no for an answer
Baldwin drove to the Nike campus and told the security officers she had to get the cake to Myers. They eventually figured out which building Myers was in, and security let her in to find it, where she then found receptionists who assured her they would get the cake to Myers, Baldwin said.
“I was like ‘No, I gotta wait until he comes,'” Baldwin said.
Myers came down within a few minutes, and Baldwin gave him the cake and sent a picture to Blackburn. (Myers has liked a few of the related LinkedIn posts but did not respond to a request for comment.)
Why work so hard to deliver a resume cake to someone she had never met?
Since COVID, “A lot of people have just changed,” she said. “The things people say they’re going to do — they don’t follow through,” she added.
Driving groceries for work, Baldwin said she feels the responsibility of delivering to people who might not be able to leave the house for whatever reason — or might need a resume delivered, she added. “I treat every customer as if they’re a family member,” she added.
Freshly baked friendship
Baldwin and Blackburn have since been talking on the phone almost every day. Blackburn helped Baldwin set up a Linkedin profile. After Blackburn went viral, she learned Baldwin was going to the library to check the comments and messages. So, Blackburn sent her a laptop.
“It really has just been a godsend,” Baldwin said. “I am a single mom living Instacart order by Instacart order. I don’t have a lot right now.”
Baldwin has three kids and is pregnant with another child. She previously worked for the state of Oregon but is hopeful she can pick up work that would be flexible with taking care of her kids, ideally connecting with others.
Blackburn had a phone call with Nike Monday and has had outreach from others, she said. Both Baldwin and Blackburn are hopeful they’ll get jobs out of all of this.
“She is sticking with me until I find a position — until we both find positions where we are successful and comfortable,” Baldwin said.
Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.