With Election Day approaching, it’s virtually impossible to escape the negative political ads filling the airwaves. But candidates who rely strictly on attacking opponents — rather than highlighting their own strengths and accomplishments — risk alienating the very people they need to win over. The same is true for job candidates.

Employers want to know why they should hire you, not why they shouldn’t hire someone else. These applicants took the wrong approach:

COVER LETTER: “Unlike 100 percent of the other cover letters and resumes you will read today from less-qualified applicants, every word herein is completely true.”

Thanks for setting the record straight.

COVER LETTER: “I am not some kid trying to cut my sales teeth, like other applicants. There is nothing I can’t sell well.”

Well, except yourself.

COVER LETTER: “I’m not a bratty person who turns his back on you. Watch out for these people and for kiss-ups.”

Consider us warned.

COVER LETTER: “I make the companies where I work a lot of money. But due to the nature of society, I will anger most of your weak employees (you know who they are, and they’ll just have to deal with it) when doing so!”

We’re not so sure it’s all society’s fault.

In addition, remember that the ability to stay on message is important to both politicians and job seekers. Whether you’re delivering a stump speech or writing a resume, you’ll lose your audience if you go off on tangents. For example:

“SKILLS: I can edit and improve any document someone puts in front of me. I love animals, too!”

Next time, edit out that last sentence.