10 Tips To Create And Improve Your Paralegal Resume
By now, you’ve probably noticed that most of our blog posts providing tips for paralegals and lawyers include 5 main points. So, why does this post have double the tips? We thought that this post wasn’t one we should skimp on, as we have a ton of great tips to improve a paralegal’s resume. So without further ado, here are 10 tips to create and improve your paralegal resume:
- Have a noteworthy and accurate letterhead. Your letterhead should use bold, lines, spaces, and fonts to try to grab the reader’s attention. More importantly than this, however, is to make sure that any and all listed information is accurate. You’d be surprised how many applicants aren’t hired because their resume has an incorrect contact phone number on it. Any certifications or credentials should be listed after your name.
- Replace the objective statement with an executive summary. Everyone has an objective statement, so an executive summary will help you stand out. You can use this section to mention your best skills and qualifications to make sure that the reader doesn’t glaze over the parts you want to stand out.
- Include your education. Make sure you mention your associate or bachelor degree, regardless of the field. If you have a paralegal certificate, you should mention that as well. Unless you are straight out of school, a GPA is unnecessary, although feel free to mention any accolades such as Cum Laude.
- Use a revere chronological format. List your most recent work experience first, since that’s likely the most relevant experience to your application. If you have limited or no real work experience, include relevant life experiences, internships, and volunteer work.
- Give your previous job descriptions, but don’t go into great detail. Add descriptions to your employment history, especially if you held a vague or uncommon job title. However, don’t go into great detail, as you have limited room to work with. If a potential employer wants more information about a previous job, they can ask you about it.
- Mention any relevant or special skills. These skills can include proficiency with Microsoft Office, Lexis Nexis, accounting or CRM software, familiarity with litigation, management and organization skills, leadership skills, or any knowledge of a specific legal specialty. Feel free to browse job websites to see the skills that employers often ask for, and include any applicable ones you find.
- Mention any certificates and certifications that you may have. Don’t duplicate your education section here, but make sure your potential employer knows what you bring to the table. Examples include CLA, CP, ACP, RP, and PP. Write these out, however, as it’s more professional on a resume than abbreviations. Include either the year each was issued or the year it expires.
- Use the same format throughout your resume. A potential employer doesn’t care if you strictly follow a set resume template, but having different fonts or organization techniques will quickly jump out as unprofessional.
- Proofread! Nothing makes a recruiter throw a resume in the trash faster than an obvious spelling or grammatical mistake. In the age of computers, a simple mistake like this is reprehensible. Show the resume to 2-3 friends or family friends to see if they can spot anything. Print it out and go through it with a pen.
- Send out your resume or post it to relevant job search boards! No matter how great your resume is, you can’t get a job interview if a recruiter or potential employer doesn’t see it. Wayne Gretzky once said that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” a quote that is universally applicable in sports, business, and life. Don’t be afraid of rejection; be afraid of complacency.
We hope these tips help you create the best possible resume and land that dream job.
Are you a paralegal, lawyer, or recruiter with more tips to create and improve a paralegal’s resume? Post them below!