Getting a foot in the door of a company is an important step for any job seeker. And one woman’s clever concept involving a cross-country baking scheme quickly went viral on LinkedIn, but it was an unexpected friendship with the Instacart delivery girl who was integral to the plan that was the real icing on the cake.
Like so many Americans looking for their next move in a sea of creative and qualified candidates, Karly Pavlinac Blackburn, 27, was hoping to land a conversation at her dream company, but found herself stuck trying to find a way to break through.
“I was actually talking to my former co-worker about pitching in front of employers – and he was like, ‘Well, Karly, you gotta do better…present yourself creatively…how about d ‘a CV on a cake?’ “, she recalled, speaking with “Good Morning America”.
Although Pavlinac knew there were no vacancies at Valiant Labs, Nike’s new business incubator, she accepted her colleague’s suggestion in the hopes that it would help her find favor at the within their team.
“I was like, I’m really going to do this,” she said, noting that she hoped the cake would ensure she was “on their minds should any roles come up in the future.”
As for execution, Pavlinac, who previously founded and sold a celebrity fitness monetization app, admitted “it was pretty tough” because she lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and headquarters Nike’s global is based in Beaverton, Oregon, which means she couldn’t just drop by a bakery, pick up a special order and deliver it herself.
“I’m across the country trying to get a cake delivered to Nike, [which is] in Oregon,” she said.
Instead, Pavlinac searched online and found an Albertson store 7km from Nike’s world headquarters that offered screen-printed photos on sheet cakes with delivery options via Instacart.
“The only hard thing is when an Instacart delivery is made, you don’t know who’s going to deliver it,” she said. “The cake has to be made in advance, so I had to call Albertsons and I was like, ‘Hey, there’s going to be a delivery that day, I know, you don’t know that yet, but I am going to have to have this cake ready. You’re going to need the picture, and it’s going to have to be ready before they get there. [to pick it up].'”
On September 8, an hour before the delivery window at 8 a.m. local time, Pavlinac called the Albertsons store to confirm that the order – a half-sheet vanilla cake with his CV printed on top – would be over.
Everything was on schedule – now all Pavlinac needed was to make sure the cake got to its location.
“Lucky for me, Denise was the person from Instacart that day to pick up the cake, because she’s so amazing,” Pavlinac said, referring to Instacart’s highly ranked platinum courier Denise Baldwin.
Baldwin had her own to-do list once she arrived at the store to pick up the cake delivery.
“[Pavlinac] wanted me to take a look at it and make sure it looked right,” Baldwin told “GMA” of the initial instructions that came with the Instacart order. “Me and the baker were both talking about it, because we couldn’t believe someone had come out of the box and done a CV on a cake…I messaged Karly and said, ‘ It looks great. I’m on my way to campus and will keep you posted as things progress. “
The two remained in constant communication after Baldwin left the store and navigated the sprawling Nike campus in search of Mac Myers from Nike Valiant Labs business operations.
“She gets there and someone from security says, ‘OK, leave the cake here. And [Denise] said, “No, I have to give it to Mac, I have to see it go through his hands,” Pavlinac recalled. “At the time, I didn’t know it, but she had her 8-month-old son under one hip the whole time – she didn’t even tell me, she was just like, ‘I’ll do it.’ “
The working mother of three – with another on the way – told Pavlinac: “‘Don’t worry, I’m here on campus. I’ll do whatever it takes.'”
Myers finally got off after a call from security informing him of the delivery. According to Baldwin, Myers was “a bit blown away” and even asked to take a photo of himself with the cake for confirmation.
The couple then shared their story in a now-viral LinkedIn post, which has been liked over 100,000 times and garnered thousands of comments.
Since then, Pavlinac has been busy with consecutive calls from recruiters and potential employers. She also checks in regularly with her new mentee, Baldwin, who is also looking for her dream job.
“My day is busy from 8 [a.m.] at 5 [p.m.] with conversations, interviews – I have so many amazing posts from people on LinkedIn that I’m still trying to get through,” Pavlinac said, adding that she has a future in product marketing in sight.
“What’s cool afterwards is that [Denise] texted me, “You inspired me to go get something better,” Pavlinac said. “I told him everything I could do to help find a job…whether that was sharing material on ‘how a job should be looking for’ or talking[ing] about jobs that might be suitable. »
Baldwin, a self-proclaimed “go-getter,” said she was looking for a position as an assistant or human resources manager that would capitalize on her communication and multitasking skills.
“I’m just trying to get my foot in the door where I can have good benefits for my kids and have some security and stability,” she said.
Perhaps most important is the new friendship the two women developed as a result of their cake delivery program — and what that friendship taught them both.
“Denise inspires me to be a better person,” Pavlinac said.