Karly Pavlinac Blackburn was laid off from her job, but rather than take her licks and feel sorry for herself, Blackburn set her sights on Nike's Valiant Labs, the shoe company's entrepreneurial think tank.
But if you're going to compete for a job as notoriously competitive as Valiant Labs, you're going to have to do something to stand out, so she had her resume printed in edible ink on a cake and had it shipped via Instacart to an executive at Valiant.
Blackburn gave instructions to the Instacart driver to just leave the cake with the receptionist with directions to deliver it to Mac Myers, operations specialist at Nike's Valiant Labs.
However, Denise Baldwin was no normal Instacart driver.
"[I was] a little bit surprised, to see a resume on the cake," she said.
So, she called Blackburn and learned about her plan to get the cake to Mac Myers. Baldwin promised she wouldn't hand the cake to anyone but him.
Baldwin took the resume cake to Nike and told the security officers she was there to deliver the cake to Myers. Secretaries offered to take the cake and make sure he got it, but Baldwin wasn't having any of it.
"I was like 'No, I gotta wait until he comes,'" Baldwin said.
"I waited, and they called him down. It took a few minutes, and then he came down," Baldwin explained, adding that she asked if he would take a picture with the cake for confirmation. "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 resume. It's kind of what Nike needs: thinking out of the box and initiative ... "
Why work so hard to help a job seeker make sure a stranger's resume stunt made it to its target?
Since COVID, "A lot of people have just changed," Baldwin said. "The things people say they're going to do -- they don't follow through. I treat every customer as if they're a family member," she added.
Baldwin and Blackburn have been talking on the phone almost every day since delivering the cake. Blackburn helped Baldwin set up a LinkedIn profile, and she sent her a laptop so she didn't have to go the library to access it.
"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."
And Blackburn got a call from Nike, as well as other companies as her story went viral. Both women are hopeful they'll get jobs out of all this.
"She is sticking with me until I find a position — until we both find positions where we are successful and comfortable," Baldwin said.
If this story hasn't taken a slice of your heart, you're dead inside.
P.S. Now check out our latest video 👇