Legal Assistant Resume Examples, Skills, and Keywords
Your legal assistant resume should written with your potential employer's time in mind. They're busy and want a legal assistant to help keep their office organized, so write your resume accordingly. Writing a legal assistant resume can be simple if you know what legal professionals need. Keep reading to learn what to include and how to structure your next resume.Optimize Your Resume Build a New Resume
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5 Resume Writing Tips for Legal Assistant
After identifying the keywords and skills you can offer to hiring companies, you can use these five tips to put together a top-notch resume.
1. Begin with a strong summary
Your resume summary is the first and most important paragraph of your application. If a potential employer is going to skim a resume, this may be the only thing they read. Use it wisely to summarize your skills and experience.
An excellent legal assistant resume will begin with a summary that explains how the applicant will solve the hiring party’s problem. Mention the length of your industry experience, your primary duties, and any relevant skills or certifications. After reading your summary, the hiring party should understand the skills you offer and why you’re the perfect choice for the position.
For example, “Experienced legal assistant looking to leverage secretarial and research skills at Brown LLP. 7+ years of secretarial experience includes supporting an office of four attorneys, implementing a paperless file storage system, and cutting costs by 17%.”
Keep your resume summary short and to the point. Two or three sentences are more than enough to explain your experience and include relevant legal assistant resume keywords.
2. List common skills for legal assistants
Attorneys look for specific legal assistant skills, experience, and other qualifications when sorting through applications. A legal assistant has to balance research and high-quality document creation with typical secretarial duties like greeting visitors and managing the phones.
Listing your relevant knowledge and skills in a single place makes it easy for hiring managers to scan your resume and find what they’re looking for. You should customize your list of skills for each job you apply to.
For example, an older attorney may need you to understand how to fax papers and follow a decades-old filing system. Meanwhile, younger attorneys may need you to understand modern scheduling programs and file creation systems. Focus on the skills that the hiring team lists in the job posting and you’ll help your resume get through the filters and into the hands of the hiring team.
3. Use action words
Specificity is vital in resumes. When you have just a page to explain why you’re worth hiring, every word counts. Focus on active voice and action words when you can, and avoid generic or boring wording.
Instead of saying you “took part” in a project, explain what you did. Some legal assistant resume examples of phrasing include saying you “organize” files, “support” attorneys, and “develop” procedures. Using these specific verbs instead of generic words gives hiring managers a better idea of your actual role and responsibilities with past employers.
Avoid generic terms like:
- Take part
- Responsible for
Instead, use action verbs that are relevant to secretarial work, like:
4. Highlight relevant training
Legal assistants don’t need a specific degree to do their jobs. However, having experience in the legal world or having specific certifications can set you apart from other applications. Paralegal training, transcription training, or an associate’s degree in Legal Studies are all valuable additions to a legal assistant resume.
The simplest way to spotlight your certificates and training is to place them in their own section. A dedicated heading about your relevant training shows your dedication to your career. It also lets you highlight important legal assistant resume keywords.
5. Clarify your professional experience
Experience is one of the most valuable traits a legal assistant can have. Use precise language and quantifiable data in your resume to explain your past experience to potential employers. List your position titles, the firms for which you worked, and the dates you worked there. Then, list your responsibilities and achievements according to their relevance to your job application.
If you aren’t sure what’s worth including, put yourself in the hiring attorneys’ shoes. They’re trying to solve the problem of maintaining an organized office. What have you done to solve that problem in the past? Put the spotlight on these accomplishments and include quantifiable data when you can.
A legal assistant who’s saved a previous employer hundreds of non-billable hours is an exciting prospect. When you can provide examples in your resume that explain how you’ve made improvements at past jobs, you make a strong argument that you’re worth hiring.