North Carolina woman sends cake with edible resume to Nike for job application


A job-seeker from North Carolina recently came up with a deliciously creative idea – she sent a cake with her resume printed on it to Nike as she attempted to gain employment with the company.

Karly Pavlinac Blackburn, 27, sent the edible resume to the athletic wear retailer earlier this month after learning the company would be celebrating “Just Do It Day” on September 8, she wrote in a LinkedIn post. She discovered a division within the company she was interested in called Valiant Labs, which is a startup incubator for Nike ideas. 

“They are not currently hiring for any positions on that team, but I wanted to find some way for the team to know who I was. What better way than to send a cake to a big party,” she wrote.

Blackburn said she began brainstorming how to get the cake with her edible resume on it from her location in North Carolina to Nike headquarters in Oregon.


“How could I get an edible resume 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,” she wrote in the social media post.

She found a grocery store that delivered cakes and an Instacart driver named Denise Baldwin who agreed to help her carry out her mission.

“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,’” Blackburn wrote. “When Denise was asked to leave the cake on the table at the front desk she said, ‘no, I need to see this go in their hands. I promised Karly I would get this cake to the right person.’ Denise navigated the Nike campus, all while having a sleeping child in one arm and a ½ sheet cake in the other.”

Baldwin, a mother of three with a fourth on the way, said in a recent interview with Today that she did end up making contact with the Nike employer Blackburn was seeking, and even requested he snap a photograph with the cake to confirm it was received.

Nike store front with people walking by

“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,” Baldwin told Today.

And while Blackburn does not yet know if her cake will pay off in landing her a job at Nike, she did learn that her determination and creativity inspired the Instacart shopper.

“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,'” Blackburn wrote in her LinkedIn post.


Nike logo

“Delivering the cake that day inspired one person. And maybe this post will inspire more,” she continued. “Helping people realize their potential is what I love to do. At the end of the day it’s not about the cake at all. It is about making things happen and taking a chance outside of the box. Denise did it. She did whatever it took to help me get that cake to Nike. And that is what I do. This is why I am different than the pack.”

Blackburn said on Today that she has spoken with someone at Nike and has a few upcoming meetings with the company.

She began looking for a job at Nike because she was recently laid off, according to KGW8.

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