A paralegal (also known as a legal assistant) carries out a lot of different tasks to assist attorneys every single day. Most paralegals are familiar with legal research, administrative duties, and multitasking for various cases at once.
There are four levels of paralegals: entry-level, mid-range, senior, and specialist. Writing a resume for each position will be quite different from one another, depending on the paralegal experience required in the field and the types of law being practiced.
Certifications are not necessarily required for entry-level positions, but if you want to apply for a higher level position, recruiters will typically feel more comfortable hiring certified paralegals over those without the same qualifications. If you are unsure of what certifications to include, then check out ResumeHelp’s blog for more. Some law firms will only accept certifications from organizations approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Here is a quick list of organizations many recruiters will accept:
The work experience section should demonstrate that you are capable of providing trial preparation assistance. This can include any previously held jobs or internships if they involve activities (e.g., office organization or project management) that apply to paralegal work. Mostly, recruiters are looking for candidates who can perform quick legal research, proof or copy legal documents before a trial, and other administrative aid. Similarly, you will want to feature your particular discipline. Paralegals focus on a variety of different areas of law, such as:
Legal Assistant Intern, Example Law Firm, Mar 2019 – Mar 2020, Los Angeles, CA
In most cases, resumes should not be any longer than a single page. This is especially true for entry-level or mid-range paralegals since you won’t have much experience in the field. Senior and specialist paralegals, however, will have more experience that can be featured in a resume, which will help them land higher paralegal positions.
Therefore, only seasoned paralegals should have resumes that extend to two pages at the most. Much of the resume should contain all your relevant paralegal work experience, relevant skills, and specific certifications you have earned working over the years.
ResumeHelp’s resume builder is a great tool for building your professional resume in mere minutes. With plenty of resume templates, paralegal resume samples, and expert job-specific guidance, you no longer have to stress out over writing new resumes from scratch ever again.
Though some job descriptions will list the cover letter as optional, it is still a good idea to write one anyway. A good cover letter can elaborate on your skills and work experience as well as tell hiring managers why you are the perfect fit for the job. It will also make you stand out against candidates who did not write one.