After completing an approved paralegal program and obtain a certificate or degree, the next thing to consider is how to make a paralegal resume that will stand out among others. Keep in mind that a resume serves additional purpose in getting a job in the legal field. A well written resume signifies the knowledge, abilities and experience of a paralegal. If you are planning to apply in any law firm or government agencies, you should know the importance of creating a comprehensive and impressive resume.
How to Write a Paralegal Resume?
Prior of creating a paralegal resume, the first thing to do is do some research for some job openings. Likewise, you also need to research what do employers desire about their ideal candidates. Look for employment website so that you can review job ads. In this way you will know the required qualifications, experience and skills. Doing research will help in determining if you have the criteria required by the employers in hiring paralegal. As much as possible you should show to your future employer that you are highly qualified.
Writing a resume is not that easy especially if you do not know how to start. In this sense, you need to choose the format that can help in conveying your individual experiences and skills effectively. If you have professional experience, you can consider writing a paralegal resume in a chronological format. However, for those who do not have outstanding job titles can choose the functional format. Regardless of the type of resume format you may choose make sure that it is impressive so that you can ensure that your future employer will hire you.
On the other hand, since a paralegal can find different positions, it is ideal to create different resumes. You can choose preparing both functional and chronological resumes so that you can highlight different accomplishments. In creating a resume, the first step is preparing the list of skills. The list should include assignments completed during the paralegal classes. You can also include the list of responsibilities as well as other details regarding the internship. After listing the skills, the next step is writing the previous work experiences including those non-legal and legal work experiences.
A paralegal resume should have the qualification part that serves as an overview of the educational background of a paralegal. The legal experience should be on the first line of the summary. It should be followed by the most recent education and the earlier education as well as the other advanced paralegal education. Likewise, the strengths, computer skills and work experience are also part of the summary as well as analytical or research skills and other advanced skills.
On the other hand, if you choose creating functional format of paralegal resume, make sure that it has two to three headings. The topic of the headings can be office management, legal, information management, organizational skills, interpersonal skills and writing skills. Under the functional headings are the specific details. Under the legal skills you can include skills and internship, draft pleadings, defense interviews, reviewed case files and analyzed court rules. In functional format, the work experience is written at the end including the job title, employer as well as the date.
Important Pointers in Creating an Effective Paralegal Resume
In addition, to ensure creating an effective resume as much as possible it should be error-free. In this sense, always check the grammar and spelling so that it will not be annoying for the employer to read the resume and the cover letter. It is very important because it is also essential in case you are hired as you need to ensure that all the documents are written properly. Keep in mind that as a paralegal, it is your duty to create documents that will be submitted to tribunals, courts, opposing counsel and others. That is why creating an impressive resume and cover letter is very important.
Likewise, it is essential to show interest in writing a resume. This is the best way to show your prospective employer your interest in the career of a paralegal. However, showing interest can also help in case you do not have experience yet. All you need to have is the certification for completing an approved paralegal course from an accredited paralegal school. Nowadays, it is a lot easier taking the course as you can have it online that you can take at your own time and pace.
The content and design of the resume also plays significant role. Utilize action verbs showing you as an achiever and doer. Choose effective and concise language as well as avoid using the first person pronoun. Reduce using of job-hopper image and avoid combining different jobs into one. Include hobbies that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Likewise, the appearance of the paralegal resume is very important. Make sure that all the items are on its proper position so that it will not be annoying in the eyes of the interviewer.
Cover Letter - A Great Addition to Your Paralegal Resume
Aside from the resume, it is also important to create a cover letter. This type of letter shows your interest as a paralegal. Keep in mind that the resume serves as your marketing tool that is why it is necessary to ensure that it will be effective in finding you a job. If you do not have any idea about writing a resume you can search online for samples. Likewise, there are resume templates available over the internet if you cannot create your own resume.
A paralegal is a very rewarding career that can make you a better future. That is why it is just right to create an impressive resume as it reflects your personality as well as your professionalism. The items or data that is included in the resume represents your skills and experience. Prospect employer depend their decision on the content of the resume. In this sense, you should ensure that your qualifications and other credentials can boost your personality and eventually land the job that you desire.
Once you are ready with your resume, the next thing to pay attention is finding law firms and other paralegal organizations. As much as possible you pass your resume in law firms in which you believe will give you the best job that you want. It is necessary as it will help you in improving your skills and knowledge on paralegal services. Moreover, keep in mind that even if you get hired, you should get continuous education so that will be adept with the latest information in paralegal. Being a paralegal is a stepping stone in case you are planning of becoming a lawyer in the future. Working as a paralegal gives you the opportunity to know the ins and outs of the law and creating an impressive paralegal resume will lead you to your dream.
Sample Paralegal Resume
Click the image below to download as a PDF file or use this DOC version instead. You are allowed to modify and use this sample for your purposes.