Paralegals play a key part in the everyday on-goings of a law firm, but if you want a paralegal job, your paralegal CV must be able to support how valuable your skills are to your employer.
Below, Simply Law Jobs provides key advice on how to make sure your CV meets the potential employer’s requirements.
5 Key factors for a Standout Paralegal CV
Tailor your CV
Recruiters’ tend to spend, on average eight seconds, looking at your CV. So a key part of submitting an application for a new job is being able to meet the recruiter’s needs on just a couple of pages – this comes from taking time to tailor your CV.
Through reviewing the job description in detail and applying similar points to your CV, you can catch the employer’s eye, appealing to their needs.
Adapt your personal summary
While tailoring your entire CV is essential, your personal summary will be the first piece of information recruiters read on it – so if you haven’t spent time ensuring that this area speaks volumes with regards to you and your experience, you could lose out on the next phase of the recruitment process.
A personal summary is an overview of you as a person and your skills. For your personal summary to appeal to your employer, you need to be able to communicate your suitability to the job in question – which is why a lot of professionals adapt their personal summary to each job they apply for.
For example, if a recruiter had a job advert that said:
The Litigation Paralegal will liaise with clients on the telephone, prepare letters before action, claim forms, instruction to Counsel, consent orders and draft legal advice whilst also providing administrative support.
Previous experience in civil litigation, family litigation or contested probate is essential. This experience will have been gained in private practice – a minimum 12 months. The successful candidate will also hold a law degree and probably an LPC.
You would seek to apply these points to your personal summary to show them that you match their needs – for example:
Dedicated paralegal seeking a new challenge. Excellent relationship builder with attention to detail and over two years’ experience in private practice. Eager graduate with a passion for organisation and task management, who has recently completed the LPC and is ready to pursue a career in law.
Keep experience relevant
Many people think the more experience you have in your career, the better – but on your CV, a recruiter only wants to see the relevant experience you have.
With this in mind, it’s best to keep the ‘Work Experience’ section of your CV concise. This would mean bullet-pointing your main responsibilities and leaving out any tasks that don’t contribute towards what the potential employer is looking for. Only give them what they want to see.
Showcase your skills
Add a separate skills section to your CV so your relevant skills can stand out to potential employers. If a job description has a list of preferred and required skills, it’s important for you to be able to outline that you have those skills – so that once the recruiter skims your CV, they can see that you have ticked all of their boxes.
Find a way to make it unique
By offering recruiters extra information than the norm, you’re giving them an opportunity to remember you over other candidates. This might be an interesting hobby, or an achievement you’re proud of, for example, an award for Top Paralegal 2019. Or perhaps you’ve achieved a top paralegal diploma from NALP? Identify points that will make you stand out, and try to include them either in your work experience section or create a separate section for them.
Simply Law Jobs offers a variety of career advice for Paralegals.
If you would like more tips on your CV, you can download our CV guide here.