Cover letters are formal documents that require much attention to detail. An employer looks at your cover letter as an introduction of yourself and your capabilities. It highlights your experiences and career goals. One small aspect of your cover letter that requires as much attention as its wording and format is the date.
When you write your cover letter, it is important to use the long date format. This includes the entire written month of the year, the date and the year, written with four digits. Depending on where you live, the exact formatting of the date will be different.
In the United States, you generally will begin your date with the name of the month. Then, you will write the numbered date next to the month. Follow the date with a comma and a space. Then write the entire year. For example, instead of using the date’s short format, such as 04/24/2010, 4/24/’10 or another similar shortened format, you would write April 24, 2010.
Outside the United States
If you live outside the United States or are applying for a job out of the United States, you would use a slightly different date format for your cover letter. In this case, the date is written before the name of the month. The full year with four digits follows the month. No comma is used. For example, April 24, 2010, would be written 24 April 2010. Another option is to write “th,” “nd,” or “rd” after the numbered date to indicate that the date of the letter is, in this example, the 24th day of the month. It would look like 24th April 2010. If you wanted to write a date for November 3, 2010, you would write 3rd November 2010. This would be read “the third of November 2010.”
The long format of the date generally is the first thing you write on a cover letter. Whether you choose to put it at the top of the left-hand side of the page, in the middle at the top or at the top of the right-hand side of the page will depend on what type of cover letter format you use.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.