Do Cover Letter Need Date? (Career Advice)

A cover letter should include a date. This is because it makes your cover letter look professional, helps potential employers understand what you’re talking about, and tells them how relevant your information is. 

Your cover letter should give the recruiter context for the rest of your application materials. In other words, if they don’t know where they are going (in terms of timeline), they can’t get there!

When and Why to Write a Cover Letter – Plus, Top Tips
A cover letter is an essential part of the job application process.
A well-crafted cover letter can greatly improve your chances of landing an interview.
Your cover letter should introduce yourself, explain why you’re interested in the position, highlight your relevant experience and skills, and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
It’s important to customize your cover letter for each job application.
Addressing your cover letter to a specific person, if possible, can make a good impression.
Including a date on your cover letter is optional and depends on the company’s preferences.
There is no hard and fast rule for the length of a cover letter, but most experts recommend keeping it to one page.
Personalizing your cover letter and using strong and specific language can help it stand out from the competition.

Your Cover Letter Should Include A Date

It’s a sign of professionalism, and it shows that you know how to date a document. It also gives the recruiter context for the rest of your cover letter.

For example, if you’re talking about an internship that ended three months ago, but you don’t include a date, then it can seem like the work experience is still current (it’s not). 

Or, if you mention that you’ve been working at an organization for ten years and only give them eight months’ worth of information in your cover letter instead of filling in all ten years with dates and job title changes throughout those eight months well then they may think they have missed something in their background check.

Addressing a cover letter can be a tricky task, but it’s important to get it right to make a good impression. Our article on addressing a cover letter provides helpful tips and examples to help you address your cover letter with confidence.

1. It Gives Your Cover Letter Structure

The date gives structure to your letter. It helps the reader follow the flow of your letter and gives them a clear idea of what you’re writing about. It allows them to know when to stop reading, when to start reading, and when to read the next section.

The date also makes it clear that you are going back through old letters with new information in mind so that anything outdated or incorrect can be corrected or updated as needed (if at all).

2. It Shows You Know How To Date A Document

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume and tells the hiring manager why you’re a good fit for the job. They’re not just an afterthought, either, as they can make or break your chances of getting an interview!

Since a cover letter is both business-like and personal at the same time, it’s important to address it correctly. 

Many recruiters consider addressing as one of their biggest pet peeves when receiving cover letters but if done correctly (or incorrectly), addressing will make all the difference in helping you get noticed by employers. When writing your next cover letter or formal email correspondence? Make sure that you address it properly!

3. It Gives The Recruiter Context For The Rest Of The Document

It gives the recruiter context for the rest of the document. If you don’t include a date, it’s hard for them to know when you wrote it. Maybe you wrote it last week and then had a minor revision two days ago? 

Maybe it’s something that was written six months ago but still applies today. The date is also a marker of time, and recruiters are often looking at hundreds of applications at once, so having this information on each document helps them understand where in their process any particular applicant stands.

It shows you know how to date your documents. This is an easy mistake to make when using email applications like Gmail or Microsoft Outlook (which automatically add dates), but since many job seekers use these programs as their default word processors, they may not realize that adding dates here can impact formatting later down the line! 

When applying for jobs via LinkedIn or other online platforms that allow users to submit cover letters through web browsers instead of software packages like Word or Pages (or even Google Docs), these documents must be formatted correctly so they display properly within those platforms’ systems.”

A well-crafted cover letter that explains why you’re a good fit for the job can make all the difference in landing an interview. Check out our article on why you’re a good fit in a cover letter for tips and examples to help you showcase your skills and experience.

4. The Date Plays A Role In Formatting

The date should be written in the same format as the rest of the cover letter. In other words, if your cover letter is written in European format (day-month-year), then your date should also be written in European format: June 22nd, 2017.

However, it’s important to note that some employers may require a different format for certain positions. For example, if you’re applying for a merchant services position at Citibank or Wells Fargo Bank and need to fill out an online application form, then their standard formatting will be day-month-year (i.e., July 2nd, 2018).

5. It Makes You Look Professional

It makes you look professional. A cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager sees, and it’s your introduction to them. If your cover letter has typos or looks like it was written by a teenager, then the hiring manager will assume that your work will also be sloppy and careless. 

This is one of the reasons why many employers ask for a cover letter in the first place they want to know if they can trust you with important tasks!

It shows that you know what you’re doing. If there’s one thing employers are looking for when hiring someone new it’s confidence! 

And while this may seem like an obvious point on its own (of course they want confidence), what most people don’t realize is that much of this desire stems from other parts of our lives too: 

Whether we’re applying for college admissions or applying at our local Starbucks cafe job; whether we’re going through high school graduation exams or taking another round of SATs tests at some point down the road; whether we’re starting up new businesses under our name instead of simply being employed by others…you get my drift now? 

So even though it might seem hard sometimes trying to always keep up with these things especially if they aren’t necessarily related directly together…the truth remains: being confident does translate into being successful everywhere else too!

It shows how organized/motivated/committed etcetera

You might think this sounds strange but after reading through all those points above about needing good organization skills etcetera (which aren’t necessarily true) here’s another one: having good communication skills

Writing a cover letter can be daunting, but it’s an essential part of the job application process. Our guide on how to write a cover letter provides step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to help you create a compelling cover letter that stands out to potential employers.

6. It’s A Sign Of Preparedness

If you’re going to go through the effort of hand-writing a letter, it shows that you’ve done your homework. A cover letter without a date is like a resume without an objective it makes it seem like you jumped right in and started writing when you first got the job listing, rather than doing any research on the company before applying for its position.

The date also helps show how much time and effort went into writing your cover letter. While it doesn’t matter if your work is perfect (as long as it gets its point across), it does matter that someone took their job seriously enough to put effort into making sure their application was well thought out, researched, and written with care. 

The same goes for putting the date at the bottom: no one wants to hire an employee who cares more about getting free food at happy hour than working hard at their job!

It may seem minor or even silly to some people, but adding dates helps demonstrate that not only are you serious about getting this job but also about working at this company specifically. 

Having stated where you heard about them or saw their ad in action demonstrates that they’ve made an impression on someone else too and maybe even piqued their interest enough so they’ll consider either hiring themselves or forwarding along some other opportunities related to what was advertised there!

7. Using A Date Shows Attention To Detail

The seventh and last reason you should use a date in your cover letter is that it shows that you’re detail-oriented. It shows that you paid attention to the details, which is an important thing for a professional who will be managing others or working on projects.

And again, when people read your cover letter, they are going to put it into one of two categories: 1) “This person knows what they’re talking about and is professional; I want them for my team/with my company” or 2) “This person doesn’t know what they’re talking about and is probably not very good at their job; I don’t want them working with me at all!”

If there’s anything we can learn from our parents (or grandpas), it’s that showing off how well organized we are goes a long way toward impressing other people. 

If you don’t have anything else going for you in terms of experience, skill set or education then being someone who follows directions well might be enough to get noticed as someone who cares about details and ultimately hired by an employer looking for someone like that!

An effective cover letter can greatly improve your chances of getting the job you want. Check out our article on how an effective cover letter can affect your job prospects to learn more about the importance of a strong cover letter in the hiring process.

8. The Right Date Can Streamline The Review Process

It’s not just a matter of the right date, though. It’s also about when you submit it. The right date will streamline the review process and make sure your application gets noticed by recruiters, who may otherwise overlook it because they don’t have time to read through all candidates’ documents in their inboxes.

Here are some ways that a cover letter with an outdated date can hold back your chances:

It could throw off recruiters into thinking you’re applying for an old job posting – which means they may quickly skim over the rest of your materials

It could lead recruiters to toss out your application because they think you sent it too late (even if there’s still time left on the posting)

Cover Letters Should Include The Date You’re Writing It On!

If you are sending out cover letters, you need to include the date that you are writing them. This is important because it can be used to identify when the letter was written and when it was sent. 

It can also be used to identify when your letter was received by someone else and who received it. In other words, a cover letter is not just a neat little introduction for yourself but something that shows what kind of person you are in terms of punctuality, professionalism, and responsibility.

A good example would be: “I am writing this letter on March 5th.” If there is no date at all on your cover letter then readers may think that there wasn’t enough time spent on creating this document or even worse they might think that your work has been rushed through or hurriedly done without any care whatsoever!

Whether or not a cover letter needs a signature is a common question among job seekers. Our article on whether a cover letter needs a signature provides answers and explanations to help you ensure that your cover letter is professional and effective.


And that’s all there is to it! As we’ve discussed, including the date on your cover letter is essential. 

It helps you show your attention to detail, it makes you look professional, and it streamlines the review process. By keeping this information in mind as you write your letter, you’ll be well on your way to writing a strong one.

Further reading

Here are some additional resources to help you improve your cover letter writing skills:

Key elements of a cover letter: This article from the University of Washington provides an overview of the key components that should be included in a successful cover letter.

Do you need to put a date on your cover letter?: This blog post offers insights into the question of whether or not to include a date on your cover letter.

Writing a career change cover letter: This article from Indeed provides tips and advice on crafting a cover letter when making a career change.


Q: Do cover letters need to be one page long?

A: While there is no hard and fast rule, most experts recommend keeping your cover letter to one page in length.

Q: What should I include in my cover letter?

A: Your cover letter should introduce yourself, explain why you’re interested in the position, highlight your relevant experience and skills, and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

Q: Do I need to address my cover letter to a specific person?

A: Whenever possible, it’s best to address your cover letter to a specific person. If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, you can use a generic salutation such as “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Q: Should I customize my cover letter for each job application?

A: Yes, it’s important to customize your cover letter for each job you apply for. This allows you to highlight your relevant skills and experience and tailor your application to the specific needs of the employer.

Q: How can I make my cover letter stand out?

A: To make your cover letter stand out, try to personalize it as much as possible, use strong and specific language, and highlight your unique skills and experiences that make you a good fit for the job.