Are You a Bad Apple?

Have you ever found a rotten apple in the bottom of your refrigerator drawer that just about causes you throw up from the sight of it? That small mound of wet brown goo makes you not even want to eat the wonderfully delicious ones beside it. They are tainted even though they might be perfectly fine to eat. As a sales guy, I have been interviewing and hiring sales people for almost 20 years. There is nothing more frustrating to me than having someone apply to a job that is utterly unqualified and obviously hasn’t even read the job description. These bad apple candidates can ruin your taste for the good ones. In your job search and when applying to a job, please don’t be one of those yucky mounds of disgusting brown goo. When I sat down in front of my laptop this morning, I had 8 or 9 applications for various jobs that I have posted. The more that I read, the more frustrated I got. Not a single applicant was qualified for the jobs they had applied to. If you’ve read my blogs before, you know I’m not a bin bucket, criteria checking recruiter. I look for candidates that can “do the job” and that have a great story. What I don’t want to see is someone that doesn’t take the time to read, applies, and wastes my time. For example, one of my jobs is for a junior sales person with no more than 3 years (written in huge font and bolded in the job description) of sales experience. When you apply with over 20 years in sales management; you are a bad apple. Another job description asks the applicant not to apply with a resume but to call instead; if you attach a resume and don’t make the call, you are a bad apple. I know this will come as a shock to my readers too, but if the job is in Detroit and you are currently living in Brazil and apply; you are a bad apple. These bad apples are similar to the ones in your fridge drawer that are obvious and get thrown out with my garbage. Some of my applicants are on the verge of becoming a bad apple but are not quite to the rotten stage yet. These are the ones that apply to a job that carries a specific requirement, and their application/cover letter/resume do not address that requirement anywhere. As an example, I am looking for an inside sales person with specific SaaS experience. One of my applicants does not list the term “SaaS” in their resume or LinkedIn profile. How do I consider this a legitimate application? When applying to a job please follow these simple guidelines: 1) READ the job description 2) Apply ONLY if you are qualified 3) Make sure your resume and application reflect why you feel you are qualified The bottom line – stop the bad apple applications and stop making yourself look like a fool. Put a serious effort into your job search and application process. A lame application shows me you are a lame employee. Don’t make me throw you out with the garbage.


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.