An effective resume can help you position yourself as a front runner for one of the 46,900 paralegal positions projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to open up between 2010 and 2020. A winning resume for a paralegal is one that highlights training, skills and experiences clearly so that any law firm or corporation will want to meet you in person.
Include any of your certifications next to your name in the headline at the top of the resume. For example, you would type: "Jane Doe CLA" if you are a certified legal assistant or “Jane Doe CP” if you are a certified paralegal. By adding your credential at the top of the resume, potential employers are instantly aware of your industry expertise.
Include an objective statement that sums up your career goals. The statement should let firms know specifically that your goals align with their areas of expertise. A sample objective statement is “To start a paralegal career with a respected litigation law firm.”
Add a special skills section to your resume. List skills the special skills that you have especially if they match up with the requirements in the job advertisement. Include skills such as litigation, contract analysis, drafting case summaries and transcription. Also include any office skills such as office administration and file management.
List your professional work experience in order of relevance. If you have experience volunteering in court, include this experience. If you did an internship at a law firm, include this as well. All relevant experience counts, whether paid or free. When listing your experience, include the employer's name, your job title, job location and dates of employment.
Describe your job responsibilities for each job listed in the experience section. Each job duty should be worded as an accomplishment statement, instead of a chore list. As an example, instead of saying "Worked as a legal assistant for a law firm," you can say "Assisted a team of four lawyers to prepare litigation cases on a daily basis." Be specific to let firms know just how much of an asset you are.
List your educational background in order of relevance. For instance, if you have a bachelor's degree in nursing and a training certificate in paralegal studies, list the paralegal studies certificate first. If you hold a paralegal certification from National Association of Legal Assistants, include that in your education section. Include the dates when you graduated from programs or received your certifications.
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