Paralegal Resume Examples, Skills, and Keywords
Whether you’re taking the first step toward building your career as a paralegal, moving on to a new firm or corporate legal department, or applying for an internal position in your current company, you need a resume that stands out. Highlighting your experience through keywords and skills helps separate your resume from the others, increasing your chances of landing an interview. Optimize Your Resume Build a New Resume
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5 Paralegal Resume Writing Tips
1. Highlight Your Transferable Skills
Hiring managers want a candidate who can quickly learn the job. If you have transferable skills, focus on them. Tailor your previous job descriptions to focus on skills that will contribute to your success as a paralegal. Read the job description and make a list of your transferable skills.
2. Focus on Your Objective
As a paralegal, you’ll need excellent written communication skills, and your resume is the perfect place to showcase them. Write an objective statement that includes resume keywords and clearly communicates why you are the best fit for the job.
Research the law firm to which you’re applying. Look through its website to see what types of cases it takes. Look through the social media and employee reviews to get a feel for what the organization values. This way, you can customize your objective to the specific company and the cases you’re likely to be assigned.
Your objective statement will be different for a firm that practices family law than for a firm specializing in environmental law. Craft your objective statement based on the firm’s specialty and how you can contribute successfully to its specific cases.
3. Tout Your Accomplishments
Your firm will be interested in what you can do for it. Rather than writing a boilerplate job description for each of your past positions, focus on what you accomplished. If you have previous experience as a paralegal, tout cases in which your research and contributions positively impacted a case.
For example: “Researched documents and previous cases to establish precedent and contributed to the successful outcome of a case.”
This demonstrates knowledge of legal procedure as well as your experience supporting the positive outcome of cases.
If you’re new to the field, highlight accomplishments in your previous job:
“Implemented a new client relationship management database to better track previous clients and follow up with delivery, resulting in a 15% increase in repeat customers.”
This shows initiative and a commitment to fostering client relationships, which is a key skill for a paralegal.
4. Include Your Certifications
You’re not required to be certified to be a paralegal, but a paralegal certificate shows commitment to your profession, and it might be desired by your prospective firm. If you have a certificate, you should not only include it in your resume’s education and certifications section, but you should also mention in your objective statement that you’re a certified paralegal.
If you have certifications in software or any other relevant areas, include these in the education and certifications section of your resume. It shows that you’re proficient with the software and won’t need a lot of training.
5. Choose the Best Format
If you have a lot of experience, a chronological resume will likely showcase that experience. If you’re changing careers or just starting out as a paralegal, consider the functional resume or a hybrid.
A functional resume focuses less on previous job titles and more on transferable skills. When writing this type of resume, list each keyword or skill as a headline and include a bulleted list underneath to highlight job duties and accomplishments that used these skills.
Functional resumes aren’t common, but they are useful if you don’t have a lot of experience as a paralegal. If you’re changing careers, using a hybrid shows that you can contribute to a company and that you have the skills necessary to do the job.