Both beginner and veteran paralegals must prepare a résumé for purposes of job applications. The importance of an excellent résumé cannot be overemphasized since it is the first impression that employers will have of a prospective employee and we all know how first impressions last in the competitive legal profession. Thus, you should go through a paralegal résumé sample before submitting your own résumé so as to ensure that, indeed, it is up to par to the exacting standards of the legal field.
This article discusses the major points of the professional sample paralegal resume found in many online sites as well as the tips to make one of your own. These tips are designed to assist in your preparation, which means that you can tweak a few aspects to make your résumé stand out in a good way.
The first section of the résumé consists of your name, home address and contact details. Your mobile phone number and e-mail address are the best contact information since virtually all legal firms now communicate via these methods. Besides, you will be easier to contact through these means than, say, a post office box.
General pointers in making your résumé include using the common fonts like 12-point Times New Roman although you can also experiment with other sizes and fonts. Just make sure that the total effect is clean, crisp and organized as well as limited to just one page. With so many résumés streaming through a law firm, hiring managers have little time to go through every page on your 5-page résumé - highlight the most impressive and leave the rest unstated on the page.
You will observe, too, that the career objective portion of a paralegal résumé sample is given emphasis. This is because employers will want to know your career goals, which accomplishes two purposes. First, let them assess how you can fit in the law firm and, second, encourage them to continue reading the résumé.
You should stick to one comprehensive sentence instead of being verbose about it. An example would be:
“To secure an entry-level paralegal position that requires excellent research skills and communication skills”
For better fit into the job opening, you should read the job description and then get the ideas for the career objective from it.
New paralegals are well advised to focus on the education portion of the résumé for obvious reasons. Keep in mind that you want to draw attention to your excellent academic record since your work experience is still relatively blank at this point.
You have to indicate the degree, certificate and other training relevant to the job. You can even list down the courses and the resultant skills learned during these times to boost your education advantage.
While the work experience is the main meat of the résumé, most new paralegals will have none to boast where actual paralegal work is concerned. List down internship programs and other work experience with relevant skills to the job being applied for.
Other components most commonly seen in a paralegal résumé sample are skills, membership in organizations and character references. Most of the time, however, the above mentioned information are the most important from the perspective of the employer. So, focus your efforts on said parts and have a good shot at the job.