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I am applying for jobs. For various reasons I am unable to start working until around 2 months from now. Should mention this in my cover letter as I apply for jobs, or leave that information for interviews? I don't want to get my resume binned because I can't start right away if the hiring process is over a month anyway, but I'm unsure if this is a legitemate concern.

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I would leave that off your cover letter. The reason being is if you come into the interview(s) and make great impressions, then a company would most likely consider you still even with a few months to go till you are available.

Yes this won't always be the case, some positions are immediately needing to be filled, but for a stellar candidate, companies will wait sometimes.

Also, probably wouldn't want to offer that up in the first interview (if it's a multiple interview set up).

Another also, 2 months really isn't that far into the future if this is a multiple interview set up, or a large company that requires approval from managers, execs, and HR. There's a lot of red tape to cut through to bring on new people.

  • I agree, the corollary being that indicating the start date may cause an immediate rejection if presented before the company gets a chance to see if you are stellar or not. Best to focus on other more relevant things on the cover letter – DarkCygnus Aug 17 '18 at 20:13
  • In the US, it's not uncommon for the boarding process to take about a month. – RandomUs1r Aug 17 '18 at 20:16
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    I'll just add that if it's only 2 months (especially from the start of the interview process), you can probably wait until they've made an offer and you're discussing start dates. If it's much longer, you should probably do it earlier. – Dukeling Aug 17 '18 at 20:40
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I would leave it off. Probably best to inform them if/when they ask you when you can start or extend an offer that has a start date on it. Having a start date on your cover letter may cause some hiring managers to overlook you as a whole because they don't want to wait an extra month after the hiring process. If it is a company with a two month hiring process, they may be a lot less concerned about that even if it is on your cover letter. On the other hand, once they have interviewed you and think you are a good fit for the job, better than say, the other six candidates that they interviewed as well, suddenly they are more willing to wait an extra month to bring you on board because you are the best candidate for the job.

Another thing to ask yourself, what do you have to gain from including that information on your cover letter? Unless it is because you are getting a certification/finishing a degree/highly relevant to the skills they need, I wouldn't include it at all.

Good luck with the job search!

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Realistically speaking, if you are applying now, you will not start for 2 months anyway, so in your particular case it probably doesn't matter one way or the other, so I'd leave it off. Worst case, they might give you a start date that's like a week before you'd like to start, and most companies won't argue with you over a week.

In the general case though, I would leave it off the cover letter. It's kind of like you're making a demand of the company already, and you don't want to make demands in your application. To be honest, I wouldn't discuss anything that you want from the company before there is an offer on the table if you can avoid it, aside from things like company culture and things that you know the company already has (e.g. if you like to play pingpong and the company has given you an office tour and they showed you the pingpong table, then you can say "I want to work for a company that has a pingpong table").

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