What's that I said about the fact that Charm City Cakes is REALLY REALLY not hiring? They're not. So how do you get a job with them?

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Today’s my birthday. I’m 25. If you want to get me a present, you can buy me something on my Amazon Wishlist. If you don’t, then you can still check out today’s post on how to try to get a job with a company that is absolutely not hiring. As I was thinking of a birthday themed company to feature, Charm City Cakes came to mind. They’re the Baltimore, MD based bakery that is featured on the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes. Unfortunately, they’re not making my birthday cake (if they were it would probably be a giant trout cake), but they are the best of the best when it comes to birthday—or any other celebration’s—cakes. You have to love any company that is truly at the top of it’s industry—especially when they’re head and shoulders above the competition like Charm City Cakes is.

You Can’t Get By on Charm Alone

So what’s that I said about the fact that Charm City Cakes is REALLY REALLY not hiring? While I was perusing their website looking for information on jobs, I came across this blurb on their FAQ.

We are not currently hiring any staff, interns, externs, unpaid grunts, or volunteers.

It’s not as strongly worded as their blurb on not allowing visitors, but it kind of has a similar tone:

If you ask to visit, we will be forced to say “no”. If you show up anyway, we will not be able to let you come inside. We don’t want to let you down and we don’t want to feel like mega jerk meanie heads. We are very sorry to be so stern and such, but there are no exceptions to this policy.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Most companies are dying for great applicants, but when a company has a reputation like Charm City Cakes does, there’s the problem of too much interest. I’ll bet they hear from every Joe Schmoe who has ever cracked open a a Betty Crocker box and thinks that he is the next Ace of Cakes. It’s an administrative nightmare. When they do need to hire someone, it’s probably not going to be some random that e-mailed them. The same can be said about other similar companies—hedge funds, boutique consulting firms, other businesses featured on tv shows. Getting a job with them can truly seem impossible.

So, how do you do it? I see two ways, and both involved networking. The first is pestering the person you want to hire you until he or she just can’t say no again. You’ve seen this approach work in movies and popular culture, and it resembles Charlie Hoehn’s idea of free work in a lot of ways. This isn’t the best way to endear people to you, but sometimes unwillingness to give up will convince someone to give you a chance. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re in search of a dream job like mopping the floor at Charm City Cakes, then it might be worth a shot.

The second technique is to build up your value. Start somewhere with a lower profile and bust your butt until you’re the best. Then network your way into a conversation with the person that you want to hire you (or maybe just cold call them). That conversation is very different from the one that I previously mentioned, because now you are just the kind of superstar that the company wants. You’re no longer some amateur with an unrealistic ambition.

I can’t promise that either of these techniques will work to get you a job at Charm City Cakes, but if you have a dream job that seems unattainable, these are my suggestions on how to give it your best shot. Sometimes companies truly don’t have room to grow and really won’t hire anyone on any condition, but if you’re good at dealing with rejection, there’s no sense in not trying. The biggest takeaway is that you need to differentiate yourself from all of the other applicants who aren’t truly serious, and to do that you need to be willing to sacrifice everything to make your dream happen.

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How do you recommend that new grads go about attaining unattainable jobs?

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2 responses to “Charm City Cakes”

  1. Thanks for the advice… I think more people need to share these tactics when looking for work. I haven’t successfully used them but I am trying.

  2. Hayley says:

    My goal is to work at Charm City Cakes. I’m really hoping to go to RISD, graduate, and then attend the CIA so I’ll be a qualified candidate for hiring. I’m looking to find some kind of job in a pastry shop in the meantime, just to get some experience. Not sure how many pastry places are looking to hire 16 year olds, but I’ll give it a shot.

    I’ve read on their FAQ answer that spells out pretty clearly that they aren’t interested in hiring at all, but someone has to quit between now and 2016ish, right?

    Yeah, I know it’s probably just pure insanity/one HUGE set-up for disappointment, but at least I’ll have the ability to work somewhere similar if I don’t get hired or maybe even start up my own shop.

    Who knows though? I could end up doing something totally different. I haven’t even started applying for colleges. I just think this place would be amazing to work at.

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