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What kind of lengths are you be prepared to go to try and snag your dream job? 27 year old Karly Blackburn has just gone viral for sending her resume to Nike on a cake, despite Nike not currently hiring for the position she’s seeking. 

The cake was delivered to a party held at Nike HQ and it’s caused quite a stir on social media. 

Is all publicity good publicity?

There are definitely two schools of thought here. On one hand, you could argue that doing anything to distinguish yourself or set yourself apart is a good thing. There’s so much white noise out there and some jobs attract hundreds of submissions. How do you cut through that? Most people have a story of applying for a job they thought they were perfect for, but that they never heard back on (in certain cases probably because HR didn’t even look at their CV properly, due to the sheer volume of applications).

On the other hand, you could also argue that gimmicks aren’t helpful in these circumstances and it looks tacky. Karly Blackburn’s edible resume has attracted as much derision as it has praise. Some think it’s hilarious and fun – and that it’s more than served its purpose of getting her noticed. Others would say it’s attracted attention for all the wrong reasons.

There are actually certain organisations that make a point of specifically stating that they won’t accept any kind of novelty package, whether it’s a job application, or perhaps some sort of creative submission (eg a film script, book manuscript, or a song being sent to a radio station). Most companies generally don’t like it.

The Karly Blackburn situation is fresh news, so it’ll be interesting to see where it lands. There’s no word as yet as to whether it’s helped her in her efforts to snag a job at Nike. One interesting thing that could happen is that all the publicity might lead to an exciting job offer for her at another organisation. If that happens, could it be argued that the approach worked?

With the current labour market being so tight (one job out there for every person!), you could also mount the argument that these sorts of gimmicks are less necessary than ever before. 

Instead, if you see your dream job advertised it might be best to rely on old fashioned tenacity, gumption and perseverance. For example; follow up your CV submission with another email a few days later, make sure you communicate your admiration and enthusiasm for the company and if you get to interview stage be sure to do your due diligence in preparation and follow up with a thank you after the interview. The squeaky wheel does often get the oil, after all!