There you are, searching for a job within the paralegal industry, when it happens. You locate the perfect job for you – so now what? Now comes the time to create your resume and cover letter. While the quality of your education and your previous work experience is of great importance, if you don’t know how to clearly convey this experience on your resume and cover letter, then you may never get a chance to interview. While there are literally thousands of tips when it comes to drafting an effective resume and cover letter, there are several tips you can follow to help streamline this process and ensure your information is clearly and accurately relayed.
Tip #1 – Drafting Your Resume
An employer typically receives hundreds of resumes for a single position. So how do you branch out and get your noticed? The answer is relatively easy: be clear, succinct and accurate. As you write your resume, keep in mind what an employer is looking for when hiring a paralegal. They need a professional who is clearly organized, able to effectively communicate, and one that holds above-average analyzing skills. Write your resume so that these qualities in your experience and training are clearly detailed.
Tip #2 – Experience Section
When organizing your resume’s work experience section, it’s important to avoid using “fluff” words – or being too wordy. Make sure your information is clear and concise. If you use too many words, it won’t read well (and likely, the hiring manager won’t even read it). Structure your experience starting with your most recent employer and working your way back through time. Dates of employment are essential as are including quantifiable data. Use action words at the beginning of each bullet point. However, don’t become too overwhelmed by including a variety of details. Put only the most important words within the detail section and save your wordy explanations for the actual interview.
Tip #3 – Drafting Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is an incredible opportunity to showcase not only your writing skills, which is important for this position, but also your experience as it pertains to a specific job. Like your resume, make sure your cover letter is clear, concise and to the point. Tailor your cover letter for the job you’re applying for. Never use a “form” cover letter, as this is impersonal and may not clearly demonstrate your competencies as it relates to the job you wish to perform.