I'm currently set to graduate in June 2015. And, I feel I'm a bit tied for jobs that don't have specified start dates. I want to start looking for work now, but I can't start working until September 2015 because I'm going back home for 2 months.

I was wondering how to convey on my resume or cover letter that I'm looking to start in September? Or is that something that would be better discussed in an interview?

Also, how likely is it that an employer would even consider letting me start working in September 2015 for jobs posted in March, April etc?

3 Answers 3


There are two approaches you can take here.

First option: don't book that trip home just yet. Go through the interview process. If and when you get to the "and when could you start?" part of the interview, be honest. Tell them you would like a two month trip because you know you won't be able to go very often once you start working full time, but that it's not booked yet and you are open to a conversation about it. Work with them to pick a good start date that you'll both be happy with. Maybe arrange some time off without pay in the first year.

Second option: you have to go home then - for a family event, or you've already booked the tickets. As before, go through the interview process. If they ask "when can you start?" you tell them. (Back in my day, starting Labour Day was perfectly normal.) If they don't like it, they can take that into account in their decision process and you might risk the job, but so be it, this trip is important to you. If they don't ask, don't bring the subject up. If you get an offer with a start date you can't meet, write back and say you'll be out of the country until whenever and would be happy to start on [specific date.] They might, but probably won't, rescind the offer.

Thing is, new hires straight out of university are rarely so critical to the operations of the company that they can't function if they have to wait a few months for you. But bringing it up before they know you might give them an easy excuse to remove you from consideration. So decide for yourself how movable the trip is, and wait as long as you can to tell them about it.


If I were an employer, I would be very reluctant to have you go through our hiring process because you'd be taking the place of some candidate/new hire we could deploy immediately. Unless there is something that's so special about you that we'd want to lock you in. Google could be patient with you but then, not too many rockstar candidates turn Google down or bail out on Google, and Google has solid growth prospects - Most employers would have no idea what happens to them six months from now, and six months is long enough for business conditions to change and for your job offer to be rescinded a couple of times over.


It is common practice for graduating students to be looking for jobs months before they are ready to graduate. I work for a large tech company and routinely interview students just starting their final year of school. When we hire the student it's common for the start date to be months in the future. In one case the offer was extended in October and they didn't start until the following September. During that entire time I kept in touch with the future hire, asking about school and keeping interest in coming to work for my team high by sharing what I could regarding our projects and expected assignments.

Be up front with your start date. First clearly indicate your expected graduation month on your resume. And then either via cover letter or other application materials indicate that you will be taking some time after graduation so will be available to start in month X.

Clear communication is the key. There are some companies that might not be willing to wait, others that will have no issue doing so. At some point in the interview with the hiring manager make sure the timeline is understood. It could be as simple as saying "Please note that while I'm graduating in June, I won't be able to start until September ". The reason shouldn't be important, you could add that you have a visit home planned or whatever it is if you would feel more comfortable doing so.

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