Under the supervision of an attorney, a paralegal analyzes legal matters, investigates and evaluates the facts of a particular case; moreover, paralegals prepare defense briefs, contracts, forms, and other documents. They can also interview clients, assist in handling the case, and perform other duties to assist the attorney in providing legal services to clients.
Paralegals are different from legal assistants, as legal assistants are mostly in charge of the secretarial and administrative aspects of a law organization, though both job titles are interchangeably used.
A paralegal resume is your brief to that position, just like the usual legal document presented at court, but this time, you are the party who has to prevail when sending that paralegal resume. This guide will help make that prevailing paralegal resume.
Before getting started in writing a paralegal resume, it is important to go through some basic aspects when making a resume for a job search.
Both Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resume are documents that illustrate your professional life, but they have key differences between them.
The main differences between a paralegal CV and a paralegal resume lie in the following three elements:
💡 Note: There are regional differences and some parts of the world use both terms interchangeably, so remember to double-check which document they are asking for.
It depends on your specific background in the legal field to select the best format for your paralegal resume. There are 4 types of professional resume formats you can use for your paralegal resume, which are:
For a paralegal resume, a combination format is ideal depending on your focus (immigration, personal injury, etc.).
A combination format lists your skill sets and relevant qualifications from your work history. Paralegals who already have an extensive amount of experience can also go for the chronological paralegal resume format.
Take a look at online paralegal resume examples and adopt useful elements in order to optimize your resume.
The best paralegal resume contains relevant qualifications that speak specifically to the position.
Write a letter to recruiters to persuade them you have the necessary qualifications for the job. A paralegal cover letter demonstrates why you are a good candidate and why you are interested in the role.
Check and make sure your paralegal resume is error-free and leave out unnecessary details.
It's crucial to know what is included in a paralegal resume. Your paralegal resume is your “career affidavit”, evidencing highlighted skills and experience that make the difference.
Other parts of a well-written paralegal resume, though, cannot be disregarded. This paragraph focuses on each element for making an excellent paralegal resume.
This section contains your full name, job title, email address, and phone number. Your address and a link to your personal website or LinkedIn page are optional. A paralegal resume should not include other personal details, such as current salary, marital status, age, religion, etc.
A paralegal resume headline is a well-written and brief sentence showing your value as an applicant. It is important to craft it carefully as a resume headline displays a top highlight of your career and it is one of the first things employers will read in your paralegal resume.
Paralegal Resume Headline Examples
A paralegal resume objective or career objective is a short section that describes your career purpose and goals as a paralegal. Moreover, it states why you want that position or how you can contribute to the law firm.
Paralegal Resume Objective Examples
The more experience you have, the more likely you’ll write a paralegal resume summary. Different from a resume objective, a paralegal resume summary is a paragraph based on your most relevant qualifications obtained from prior experiences. If you think you are a great match for the entity based on your past work experience, adopt a resume summary statement for your paralegal resume.
Senior Paralegal Resume Summary Examples
Apart from listing personal (soft) and technical (hard) skills, try to match your paralegal resume with the abilities required by the job description. Your paralegal resume's skills selection demonstrates your potential as a paralegal.
Here are some skills for a paralegal resume:
For each law entity you worked at, your work section in a paralegal resume should include:
Example of Work Experience Section for an Experienced Paralegal Resume
Paralegal | Lee Law Office
Dec. 2018 - Nov. 2020
List your relevant education and degrees at the end of a paralegal resume. This section shall mention the name of the university, degree obtained, and years of study.
Example of Education for a Paralegal Resume
Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies
New State University
✅ Pro tip: Apart from listing information about the school you attended, a paralegal resume can also include academic awards or a list of relevant courses under the education section.
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Now that you have read up on how it looks, here are some simple points that are easy to understand, but important to take into account when building a paralegal resume.
1. Customize the paralegal resume for the job.
Adjust your paralegal resume based on the job descriptions and requirements recruiters specified in the job post.
2. Implement keywords in your paralegal resume.
To best customize your paralegal resume, include keywords from the job posting to be able to pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is a software tool employers use to scan job applications.
3. Choose an ATS-friendly resume format/layout.
A paralegal resume that is not ATS-friendly will be disregarded. An ATS-friendly resume layout follows an easy-to-read style. Moreover, aim to follow keywords used in the job posting and avoid using tables and graphs in your paralegal resume.
4. Adopt resume action words (verbs).
Adopting action verbs such as assisted, coordinated, and gathered in a paralegal resume shows your proactiveness and accountability. Take a look at online verb lists that will help you with your paralegal resume.
5. Quantify results on resumes.
Results and achievements based on numbers or quantifiable data increase your value as the right candidate, so try to contain these in your paralegal resume.
6. Include relevant training.
Paralegals may obtain additional certificates to bolster their paralegal skills. If you have any, list it in your paralegal resume.
Writing a paralegal cover letter increases your chances to land an interview for that paralegal position.
A paralegal cover letter should have the following elements:
Paralegal who helped solve more than 100 cases
Mobile: (+32) 000-8120
Email: [email protected]
Immigration paralegal able to work directly with a team of attorneys. Well-versed in legal procedures, terminology, and substantive law. Excellent communication skills, written and verbally. Proven track record in investigating, researching, proofreading, and drafting various types of legal documents.
Hawk-Smith Law Firm
Oct. 2019 - Mar. 2021
Low Law Firm
Aug. 2016 - Aug. 2018
Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies
--- Originally written by José J. Rosales ---