Paralegal Resume Example

Draft a new Paralegal resume with our no-nonsense writing guide and example. Leet Resumes is also available to write yours for free!

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Written by Marc Cenedella
Leading expert on resumes
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on September 1, 2022
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How to write a great Paralegal resume

Life in the legal world is usually portrayed in terms of dramatic courtroom verdicts and compelling closing statements.

While such cinematic or exciting legal moments do happen occasionally, you know they’re always preceded by countless hours of research and legwork.

Putting together a strong legal argument takes an incredible amount of work and due diligence.

Behind every great lawyer there’s a dedicated Paralegal. Jurisprudence isn’t exactly a one person workload, after all.

You may be a pro when it comes to legal preparation, and fact-checking is probably your forte, but perhaps you’re not sure how to write a new Paralegal resume.

If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a step by step guide explaining how to write a new and majorly improved resume that will help you land more job interviews.

Maybe you’re searching for more extensive resume assistance. We can help. We offer personalized writing services.

That’s right, Leet Resumes will create a great resume for you!

And we’ll do it for free. (tips appreciated)

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Why you need a great Paralegal resume

So, you’ve decided it’s time to file a motion for a career upgrade.

A new resume is an invaluable tool while exploring new job opportunities.

You don’t want to wait until you see your dream position posted. Preparing a fantastic new resume in advance allows you to apply to new job openings as soon as they appear.

And what makes a resume great? Organization!

Luckily, you’re well acquainted with the importance of organization.

The law is nothing if not well chronicled. You’re responsible for preparing, organizing, and maintaining countless legal documents and correspondences.

Organization and success go hand in hand in the courtroom, and a similar philosophy will help you write the best Paralegal resume possible.

Here’s why the right structure is so vital to a resume: Recruiters and hiring managers will dismiss your application right away if they see a messy layout or tons of paragraphs.

A winning resume that produces job interest is concise, clear, and compelling. The Leet Resumes format will ensure your resume checks all of those boxes.

How to format your Paralegal resume

Everyone is entitled to due process, but a truly captivating resume is a luxury in today’s job market.

Just like a well-formed legal case comes together long before the courtroom doors open, a great resume will put you ahead of the applicant pack before even applying.

Following this format will put your resume in a position to succeed:

  • Name + Contact
  • Professional Headline
  • Professional Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Keywords

The tiniest of details can make or break a testimony or deposition, and specifics matter big time on resumes as well. Let’s break down each section of your new resume a bit further.

Name + Contact

Readers should find your full name at the very top of the document, displayed in slightly larger sized text than everything else. If you’re a certified Paralegal, add CP or CLA (whichever applies) after your name.

Below your name write down your contact information: Professional email address and phone number. This should go without saying, but we’ll say it just in case. Never use a silly or childish email address!

If you need to create a more formal email address, take five minutes and get it done. You can’t go wrong with something like: “Firstname.lastname@something..”

Adding your physical address is optional. If you do, though, be sure to indicate exactly which cities or regions you want to work in, as well as if you’re open to remote job opportunities.

Professional Headline

Now it’s time to start really showing off your expertise and skills as a Paralegal. Always keep in mind that your resume is a promotional tool first and foremost. Your resume, for all intents and purposes, serves as a commercial for your career.

The professional headline is the catchy introduction to your own personal Paralegal advertisement. As such, it needs to grab the reader’s attention and invite them to keep their eyes peeled on your resume only.

For hiring decision makers, this stage of the recruiting process is akin to pre-trial discovery. They’re looking for all available evidence that you’re a worthy job candidate.

Begin supplying that evidence with a short yet compelling professional headline. We suggest starting with a positive, relevant adjective (dedicated, organized, etc) followed by your current job title or level of seniority/specific area of the law you focus on.

For example: “Experienced Corporate Paralegal” or “Passionate Litigation Paralegal.”

Professional Summary

As touched on earlier, the burden of proving you’re a can’t miss, ambitious job candidate falls squarely on your resume’s shoulders.

Ask yourself, what aspects of your career do you want front and center on your resume? The answer to that question will largely make up your professional summary section.

Made up of two to four lines, this area will prominently display the skills, achievements, and aspirations that drive you forward as a Paralegal. Here’s what to do:

Line one: Don’t assume that readers know what type of job or position you’re looking for next. Use this first line to name some specific job titles you want to accept as your next role. Keep in mind these can even be positions you haven’t held yet. This line is about your future! Examples include “Immigration Paralegal” or “Senior Real Estate Paralegal”.

Line two: Bringing us back to the present moment, the second line is all about displaying some of your most advantageous legal skills. Common skills listed on Paralegal resumes include detail-oriented, written communication, fact-checking, law office coordination, and case preparation/research.

Line three: This line and the next are optional. If you have the experience, use the third space to list some of your biggest professional achievements and accomplishments.

Line four: The last line of your professional summary can be used to display any promotions or awards you may have earned during your career.

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Work experience

So far your resume has done a good job of stating your professional case. The work experience section is your opportunity to take your argument to the next level.

Sure, you may have told readers why you’re a great candidate - but have you proven your professional worth yet? A winning resume is much more than just hearsay; this section should provide clear, contextualized evidence that you’re great at what you do.

Just like a docket provides a detailed summary and timeline of proceedings in a court of law, your work experience section will tell the story of your career thus far in a direct and positive manner.

Always structure this area in reverse chronological order. That means your most recent or current position should be up top. Another important piece of advice: Never, ever simply recite back the expected duties and responsibilities at each job. This common mistake is like committing a resume writing felony offense!

Instead, follow these guidelines for a superior work experience area:

Use bullet points to convey success

Under each prior or current position listed provide a handful of one sentence bullet points highlighting your career’s biggest achievements, accomplishments, and “wins” thus far.

Get specific. Readers want to know if you’ll succeed in a new role, and the best way to quickly convey that you will is by detailing and expanding on your prior successes. Don’t state what you were expected to do, show exactly what you’ve done.

Cases won, acquittals, legal documents drafted and filed, affidavits prepared - These are all examples of professional feats you may want to use in your work experience section. The details and achievements will, of course, vary depending on your chosen area of the law.

Always add numbers

While you’re at it, be sure to include as many numbers, statistics, or additional metrics as possible. Digits tell a success story faster than words can by a significant margin, and they add additional context to your achievements.

Start with action

We suggest starting each and every bullet point with an action verb (performed, developed, filed, etc). This helps you cut to the chase quickly and helps portray you as a go getter.

Here’s an example bullet point: “Drafted 70+ legal documents including NDAs, contracts, wills, and appeals.”

Education

For the education section of your resume just write down all degrees earned and schools attended. Only include degrees you’ve completed.

If you’ve completed an ABA-approved Paralegal certification course, mention it here.

Keywords

The last section of your resume is reserved for any extra yet no less important keywords (hard skills, soft skills, awards) you haven’t mentioned yet.

Here are some examples:

  • Accuracy
  • Subpoenas
  • Pleadings
  • Civil litigation
  • Document review

I wish someone would write my resume for me

We must be a genie in a bottle because we’re here to grant your wish!

Get in touch with Leet Resumes today and we’ll craft you a personalized Paralegal resume for free.

Let’s get started.

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