Editor’s Note: Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL TechWire, writes The Skinny.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – This may be the best catchphrase for job seekers: “Yeah, I’m that girl who sent my resume in a cake to Nike.” She meets the cake delivery manager: Karly Pavlinac Blackburn.
Recently featured on CNN and now living in Wilmington after being laid off and a failed job search in the Triangle, Blackburn is among millions of job seekers still unemployed despite two-to-one job offers. for candidates in the US
The Skinny caught up with Blackburn, who attended NC State and graduated from Wakefield High School in Raleigh before launching her own business, to discuss her entertaining, but very frustrating, pastry story.
“I’m still interviewing and networking for the right job,” she says.
“I just moved from the Triangle and live in Wilmington. I worked at W.M.Harper [before launching the job search].”
And she confesses to being incredulous about what has happened in her search.
“Very frustrating. I sit and apply for jobs, network, take calls, work on my resume from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday,” Blackburn explains. “Even though I’m looking for my dream job and I’m a bit picky. I think if I’m going to put my heart and soul into something every day, it has to be something that I love to do.”
Blackburn is an entrepreneur at heart. He launched WAAM, an acronym for “We Are A MOVEment,” giving users access to well-known fitness trainers and their workouts where location and cost would previously have been a barrier. Blacburn raised $500,000 from Cary-based venture capitalist David Gardner and sold the company in 2021.
His current frustration increased over time to the point that he sent a special resume to Nike with a cake. But the sweet tooth appeal didn’t work.
“My old colleague and friend Trent Gander had the idea for the cake,” he explains. “We were talking and he said ‘Karly, be creative, put your resume on a billboard or on a cake!’ I was like, well, I really like the cake idea.”
So what is going on? Why can’t anxious job seekers like her find a job?
Training app startup WAAM, founded by NC State grad, is acquired
She may be a victim of the so-called “channeling” of talent. Companies are still posting jobs, but they’re not necessarily filling them, say conspiracy theorists. Instead, companies are shelving resumes until the future of the economy is less uncertain.
Tom Snyder, director of RIoT, the large Internet of Things user group in Raleigh, introduced Blackburn to The Skinny after she participated in a job event hosted by Riot. He mentioned channeling when I asked him about the continuing number of job openings in the Triangle and across the country.
The Skinny then asked Blackburn: Do you think that’s part of what’s going on?
“I do. I see tons of jobs I’ve applied for that have been active for months,” she replies.
“The problem with this is that ‘they’ tell you not to apply for too many positions at the same company. So what if I applied for a job that was a ‘pipeline’ role and missed another opportunity?
As Blackburn continues to search, he shared his thoughts on what other job seekers should do.
“Talk to as many people as you can to get advice. Everyone from people in departments you have an interest in, to recruiters, to resume builders.
“Everyone, because you never know what someone will say that will change the direction you’re going.”