Applying for a job generally requires submitting both a resume and cover letter.
Employers will decide who to interview based on these two things, so it is in your best interest to take the time and effort to have perfect documents.
Investing a short amount of time into creating an impressive legal assistant or paralegal resume can really pay off.
You may be competing with other applicants who have more education or experience than you do. You need to set yourself above the crowd in order to get into the interview chair.
How to Write a Legal Assistant Resume
In essence, you are trying to sell yourself. You must cultivate a positive memorable first impression on paper. It can be intimidating to think of a resume as something that can make or break your career. So take a deep breath, and read on to find out how to develop a resume to set you apart and get you that interview.
Accuracy is of the upmost importance, especially in the legal field. Submitting a resume with errors in it is just about the worst mistake you can make. Check and double check for correct spelling and grammar. It is a good idea to have a friend proofread your work as well.
Include all contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, and an e-mail address. Use an e-mail address that looks professional such as your first and last name. Be sure that your voice mail sounds professional in case you miss the employer’s call.
Keep your resume to one page, two at the most. Be concise, but offer complete information.
Create a letterhead-type heading with your contact information. You can center the text or align to the left. You may include a stylized line to set this text apart from the content of the page. Using this heading for both your resume and cover letter adds nice synchronicity.
Use a professional looking, standard font in black ink. It is appropriate to use ALL CAPS, bold, italics, and underline to set apart certain text. Use size 12 font. If you need to shrink the text to fit on one page, it would be okay to go down to size 11, but no smaller.
You may remember the movie Legally Blonde (2001), in which Reese Witherspoon’s character submits her resume on pink, scented paper. It may make for interesting TV, but this is not the time to show your creativity. Use plain white paper. You can also purchase resume paper. Tip: If your resume paper has a watermark, make sure to print so that the watermark is correctly oriented and not backwards or upside down.
Create headings, and provide detailed information under them. You can put them in whatever order you see fit. If you have more education than you do experience, you may want to put education at the top for emphasis.
Experience – Your prior work history going back 10 years. Try to use descriptions that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. The post on legal assistant job duties has lots of helpful terms you can use, and there are many ideas to be found by reviewing and legal assistant job description.
Education – List degrees and certificates, whether related to law or not. Include computer classes. If you achieved a high GPA, you may want to include that information. Awards and accolades should be included as well. Include any legal assistant training you have received.
Skills – Include all relevant abilities. You probably have more transferable skills than you realize. If you posses some of the 10 qualities of a great legal assistant, that is a perfect place to start. Now that you have a detailed plan for creating your resume, it might be helpful to view an example of a legal assistant resume.
Since you have now completed your resume, your next step is to write a legal assistant cover letter.
Check out our popular job search tool to find legal assistant and paralegal jobs that are available near you.