The pitch. It's what marketing and sales professionals use to entice potential clients and customers to buy (or at least further explore) a product or service. In many ways, your resume and cover letter combine to form a personal pitch meant to convince prospective employers that a certain product — you — is worth investing in.

As a job seeker, you need to quickly make a positive impression by presenting compelling and highly relevant information that will attract a hiring manager's attention. Unfortunately for the following applicants, their sloppy sales skills killed their chances of securing interviews

COVER LETTER: "I apologize for dashing this off in such haste. I would never send it this way to an employer who might want to hire me."

Then you were right to contact us.

COVER LETTER: "I will admit during the school year I slack off, but that is only because I am learning things that I have completely no interest in. I blame my bad grades on my lack of motivation."

We blame our lack of interest on your poor cover letter.

"EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: My long period of unemployment had to do with a variety of unexpected, time-consuming events, an IRS audit of my finances in particular."

Not the leading candidate for the opening in accounting.

COVER LETTER: "Dear Hearing Manager."

Say again?

"TECHNICAL SKILLS: I am not up on today's software. I know Microsoft Word 2000."

This isn't putting your best foot forward.

COVER LETTER: "I am a relatively fast learner."

At least you're honest.