6 Resume Tips for Paralegal Program Graduates

Posted by on September 26, 2014

At Minnesota School of Business-Blaine, Kofi Montzka, paralegal program chair, works with area paralegals, attorneys and legal recruiters to learn about ways to improve the program. These field experts also give feedback on classes, textbooks and projects students have completed. Below is a compilation of the most recent resume feedback Montzka gathered from her work with the field experts.

Kofi Montzka, MSB-Blaine paralegal program chair

1. Objective

– Do not include an objective statement unless it is really good. Firms and recruiters are split on whether they like objective statements.

– Most employers say that an objective is good to have when applying at a corporation or large law firm.

2. Education

– Be sure to list your education as the first section on your resume after the objective if you are applying for your first or second job after graduating.

– List your GPA if it is over a 3.5.

– State some of the legal courses you took in school because it makes your resume more likely to get selected in an online keyword computer search common for online applications.

3. Highlighted Qualifications

– List your typing speed if it is more than 55 wpm.

– List the documents you prepared in school, like contracts, complaints, correspondence, pleadings, bankruptcy petitions and wills.

– List the legal computer programs you know, such as Westlaw, Case Management Software, and Time and Billing Software.

– State Microsoft Office programs you know proficiently.

4. Work Experience

– Paralegal resumes should be chronological, not functional.

– If you have legal work experience, consider a separate “Legal Experience” section.

– When you list the tasks at a job not related to the legal field, include transferrable skills.

5. Community Contributions

– List all volunteer work, even volunteer work you did while in school like service learning or applied learning projects.

– List volunteer work even if it is not directly related to the legal field, like if you worked for Habitat for Humanity or if you are a volleyball coach.

6. General Tips

– Formatting is very important in the legal field. Ensure the formatting is consistent and that you have consistent spacing and font sizes. Ensure your resume is clear and easy to read.

– Ensure you have no typos or grammar errors. Do not proofread your resume on the computer screen. Print it and then proof it. Read your resume out loud to yourself and ask others proofread it for you.

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