Paralegal Resume: Examples, Template & Complete Guide
Do you know a person who said that looking for a perfect job was easy? No?
Well, we do not know such a person either!
The truth is, the job search is frustrating, time-consuming and usually not at all fun.
You are getting stressed-out, you doubt your capabilities, you hope they will choose you, and then get disillusioned if they do not.
You are not alone, and hopefully, you will soon find the job you are looking for and all of this will stop. Finally, this is why we are here, to help you find the perfect job, and as we cannot guarantee that you will certainly get it, we do guarantee that you will be noticed and that you will receive more callbacks. This will improve your chances to shine in a face-to-face interview.
So, what can we do for you?
We can help you write the perfect resume to fit the specific needs of the job requirements.
We have created a resume builder that will make it easy for you to create a resume in minutes, and we have prepared this guide so that you will know exactly what, and in which way to present it in the resume.
Your resume will be different, no, not ‘different’, BETTER from the majority of others which will help you stand out.
Let us see what questions this guide will answer and what is it that you will learn reading it:
Some of the questions
- How do I get more callbacks?
- How do I stand out?
- Is all information equally important?
- If not, how do I pick the right information?
- How long should my resume be?
- What are the most common mistakes people make while creating a resume?
- How do I organize my resume?
- Which layout should I use?
Things that you will learn
- How to make your resume be that one out of ten to be picked.
- What personal, professional, and educational information you should showcase, and how.
- How to tailor your resume based on the job application.
- How to make the necessary impression on the recruiters before they meet you.
- How to handle the experience section if you do not have any, and how to showcase it the best if you do.
Do you want to quit the job search and hope that it will fall in your lap because all of this seems so difficult and almost impossible?
We are here to help you make your resume the best opening argument, supporting evidence, and closing argument to the case of “You”.
You are already well-aware that a great resume is an important and unavoidable ticket to your new or first job.
We at Cleverism, have created a resume builder that will simplify the process of making that great resume, and we had in mind all the necessary aspects of it.
Creating a resume has never been more stress-free than with our resume builder!
You will not have to worry about forgetting some important information, and you will also be able to add more sections if you need to, and all of that is at the click of the mouse.
So, pick the layout that seems the most interesting for you, try to find a font you like take notes as we go about explaining how an outstanding resume should look like, or just fill the desired layout as we go!
Before we start explaining each resume section and gradually answering all of your questions, let us take a look at these two examples of eye-catching, thought-provoking resumes.
While you are going through them, try to make sense of what is important, and what were the mistakes that you, and everybody else has made at some point.
You can later check your conclusions and make sure that your resume is simply perfect!
Resume Example for Alston & Bird LLP
Resume Example for Greenberg Law Firm
In case these two examples were not enough for you to deduce what type of information you need to provide-read on as everything will be explained.
And, even if you managed to figure it out, keep reading, as some other interesting and useful information are coming your way!
Have our resume layout prepared and fill it in as we go about explaining each section – you might find that it will save you some time, and you will not miss or forget anything important! Let us move on to each section in detail.
HOW TO START YOUR RESUME THE BEST WAY WRITING THE PERSONAL INFO SECTION
The personal information section is pretty much consistent regardless of what type of job you are applying for.
It should contain all the necessary information that your recruiter might need if they want to contact you.
The impression you leave with just those few little lines at the top of your resume can make a big difference in regards to whether they find that you are a good candidate or they leave your resume in the “discard” pile.
Is your head spinning now, thinking about what can go wrong with such basic information?
First of all, let us list all the required information that you have to provide in your resume for it to be considered complete:
- Your full name– first and last name
- Your address – where you currently live
- Your e-mail address – a valid e-mail, which you check daily
- Your active phone number – landline and/or mobile phone
If you do not provide all of these, your resume is not complete and will not be taken seriously.
Other information that you can provide are:
- Your photo – this is a little tricky, as some countries find it inappropriate to send out a resume with a photo, while other countries’ HRs think otherwise. To be sure if you should include a photo, check the common practices of the said country, or check the resume requirements in the job application itself. If a photo is required they will often emphasize it.
- Your LinkedIn account – LinkedIn account often separates you from others as the serious candidate, since today every candidate who thinks about presenting themselves has it. IF you do not, by all means, create one. It takes only a few minutes, and although it is not compulsory to provide it, it is beneficial. It’s your modern-day business card.
- Your driver’s license, and other licenses – If your job requires you to have a driver’s license you can provide that information, otherwise, you are not obligated. In your case, licenses of practicing law in any form are highly desirable.
With our resume builder, you can easily add or remove sections with the information needed to tailor your own resume according to the job requirements. You can even choose a layout with or without a place for a photo so that is one less thing to worry about!
Now, what are the most common mistakes that may spoil your initial impression? Let’s look at the examples below:
And when it comes to photo, here is a good explanation:
Many candidates make the mistake of not having a specific e-mail for professional purposes.
You can express your creativity and colorful personality in other ways, but childish and/or inappropriate e-mail address will not do you well when the HR is screening for candidates.
Also, do not make your e-mail too complicated by adding random numbers (even your birthday) or letters, it will make it difficult to remember and recall when needed.
Also, if you prefer to be called by a nickname, you can casually mention that later, when you have already gotten the job. Making it official in a resume is not appropriate- just think about this: you will potentially sign a contract. Is it legal if it is not your full name that is on it?
PERFECT SUMMARY SECTION OF A PARALEGAL RESUME SHOULD FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS
For some people, the summary section is the easiest to write, while others struggle with it the most.
It should be a short introduction, a ‘hello’ to the recruiters, your personal ‘why you should hire me’ before they even have time to ask that same question.
This is the small place in the resume where you can show some traits of your personality rather than just giving pure information about yourself.
The difficult part is keeping it short and sweet, but not too short.
A great summary consists of 2-3 targeted sentences. It should say who you are without being braggy, it should mirror the most important requirements form the job application and it should tell the recruiters what you can contribute to the firm, as well as what they can do to help you thrive.
Recruiters spend only seconds scanning the resumes so highlighting the right information is crucial.
Let’s look at an example of a good and a bad resume:
And it shouldn’t be too longs as well with a bunch of unnecessary info.
WRITE EXPERIENCE THAT’LL IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING HIRED AS A PARALEGAL
The experience section is the trickiest one. First of all, it is the section the recruiters are most focused on, so making this section great is crucial for your job application. Secondly, what do you do if you do not have any experience?
The common and most widely accepted order of information in a resume is- personal information, summary, experience, education, skills.
If you are fresh out of college, you may switch it up – personal info, summary, education and then experience and skills. In this way, you will highlight what you are proud of and good at, rather than lack of experience.
And what about candidates with experience? In that case, your main concern is relevance.
All of us have made a mistake of putting every job we have ever done since summer jobs during high school thinking that bombarding the HR with our diligence and readiness to take up any job will make them in awe of us.
However, the recruiters spend less than 10 seconds scanning each resume, so what is the amount of relevant information they will get out of your resume if there are 6 separate points?
The important information is most likely to get overlooked in this situation.
To make the most of it, pick only the working experience that is directly related to the job you are applying.
If you are still particularly proud of a job that you have done in the past and it is not related to the legal field, be ready to answer questions like how it has prepared you for your legal career.
The other thing you should consider is the order. Start from the last working experience and work down to the last one. You can list those seemingly unrelated jobs below the relevant ones.
Make sure that you present your experience neatly. With our resume builder, you will not have to worry about that!
But still, let’s go over it.
First state the period during which you held the position, then the position you held and then the institution you were working for.
That is not the end, though. Make a little more effort and provide information about your duties and accomplishments. Make them short and concise, yet specific.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO WRITE THE EDUCATION SECTION FOR PARALEGAL RESUME
The easiest part to fill in is indisputably the education section. It is pretty straightforward and there are not many questions about which aspect of your education you should highlight.
As in the experience section, use the reverse-chronological order to list your formal education. State the institution and the degree you have acquired.
A mistake that is often made is leaving it just at that. The next thing you should do is list your achievements during those particular studies. What do we mean by that?
State what you have learned, point out your GPA if it is outstanding, list any awards that you might have won, honors or scholarships, participation in a group of some sort, or a cause that you helped during studies.
Other information you can include aside from the college education of any level, should be any courses you have taken, licenses, and certificates that you have acquired.
List the specific skills and achievements as you did with formal education information.
The achievements should be the maximum length of two lines.
What about high-school you ask? Well, the general rule of thumb is that it should be avoided unless directly related to the job you are applying for, but in the case of legal occupation, being a president of the debate club, or winning in some sort of related competition can be an indicator that they are looking for a person just like you.
Use our layouts to quickly add and remove the education section information, it is really that easy!
USE THESE TIPS TO CREATE THE BEST SKILLS SECTION
Are you a horseback rider? Can you swim 2 lengths of a pool on one breath?
Is that important for a Paralegal job application? Nope. Those, and similar skills, although admirable, should not find their place on your skills section.
Many candidates think that they should highlight everything they know, but unless it helps you do the job you are applying to avoid it.
Your interesting but non-job-related skills may come up in a casual conversation over a coffee break in the office later on, but on your resume, they draw attention away from those skills that make you the perfect candidate for the job, which does not go to your advantage.
The recruiters will remember you as an “interesting” but not “the right” person for the job.
Aside from listing everything, there are two more common mistakes regarding the skills section – listing them at random, and not specifying the level of knowledge.
So, first of all, make a list of all your relevant skills and divide them into two categories
- technical knowledge – i.e. familiarity with certain programs, laws, computer and typing skills
- personal skills – communication skills, personal characteristics that make you great at what you do
If you speak another language, by all means, showcase it.
There are several ways in which you can express the level of a certain skill – descriptive, star-based, graded, and others.
Pick the one that suits you the most, you can choose many layout variations at our resume builder and start letting others know how great you are!
FINAL TIPS & TRICKS THAT EVERY PARALEGAL SHOULD KNOW
- Keep it professional. We cannot stress this enough. Your employer wants a professional figure in their working environment so this is how you should present yourself.
- Before sending out your resume, have a family member or a friend check it for type-Os. When you pay so much attention to detail, ironically, the details are exactly what you may miss.
- Make your resume fit on one page. This will allow your recruiters to have all the information at a glance, and they are less likely to miss an important one. If it is longer than one page, revise it and see which information is the least relevant and then delete it.
- Keep a master resume with all your working experience and education and update it regularly. This will make it easier to create a resume for a specific job.
- Tailor-make your resume for each job application. Use the guidelines from this guide, and make even the smallest adjustments according to the job description.
- Save your CV in a PDF, rather than any other format. You can use a link as well. They are uneditable, neat and easy to access.
- Use our resume builder to help you create your CV as fast as it is possible. You will not have to worry if the format is okay, and you will not have any trouble whatsoever filling it in.
- Before actually going on an interview, prepare the answers to the possible questions. If none come to mind, again, ask someone to take the role of the recruiters and see what may be interesting. The usual questions are “Why do you want this job?”, “What do you think you can contribute”, or “Why did you leave your previous job?” there are more, so be creative when you practice.
Whether you will get the first or the tenth job you go on an interview for, we do not know. However, we are absolutely certain that you will get more callbacks, and that your resume will be noticed in the sea of others.
Getting the job eventually depends only on you and how you compare to the other candidates, as well as the needs of your prospective employer.
We wish you good luck and hope you will dazzle the recruiters with your personality as well as with your resume!
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