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Featured resume example: legal secretary

LegalSecretary NoExp Featured 1 1

Name: JULIAN HURST

Address: City, State, Zip Code
Phone: 000-000-0000
E-Mail: email@email.com

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Industrious administrative assistant looking to pivot to new position as legal secretary. Equipped to deploy organizational, communication and in-depth research skills ina fast-paced law firm. Looking for employer that can capitalize on desire for career growth.

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATION

  • Multiple executive teams greatly relied on and formally recognized communicative abilities; noted timeliness and precision both in-office and with outside parties.
  • Utilized research skills in every previously held position; desire to continue growing research skillset.
  • Can easily organize multiple complex, conflict-free schedules while keeping own agenda busy and productive.

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

Communication
  • Screen and forward all incoming email, phone and mail correspondence meant for management; personally field all otherwise unaddressed correspondence.
  • Individually contacted and offered personally tailored feedback to class of nearly 60 students when assisting with grading term papers.
Organization
  • Created new filing system to increase efficiency across entire office.
  • Create, update and manage five separate schedules for self and several executives.
  • Keep workspace tidy and organized, with supplies constantly accessible to coworkers.
Research
  • Assisted Wovenware in conducting preliminary background checks on certain new hires prior to further vetting from outside agencies.
  • Fact-checked and otherwise verified information cited in student papers.
  • Provide Alonso executives with detailed reports on competitors and wider industry practices.

WORK HISTORY

LEGAL SECRETARY 11/2018 to CURRENT
The Barns Firm | Company Name, City, State
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT 04/2016 to 02/2018
Persons Service Company LLC | Company Name, City, State
TEMPORARY OFFICE ASSISTANT 04/2013 to 10/2015
Get It Going LLC | Company Name, City, State

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts | Political Science, City, State

Top 4 characteristics of a best-in-class legal secretary resume

  1. Summary Your summary statement should bring attention to must-have skills that relate to organization, communication and research. In a few sentences, summarize your top attributes and work experiences, making sure they match what the specific job is looking for. For example, if the job calls for “coordinating appointments and maintaining a detailed calendar,” your summary statement should reference your abilities in this area: “Industrious legal secretary with more than 2 years’ experience administering calendars for law firm of 30 employees.”
  2. Skills To stand out, scan the description of the job you’re applying to and add skills you have that match what the job requires (e.g., proficiency in Microsoft Office, or calendaring and communicating with clients. Include important intangible traits in this section such as ability to perform well under pressure, resourcefulness and excellent verbal communication.
  3. Work history Focus on work experience that’s relevant to the specific role. For example, if the job requires database use and you had a previous administrative job that involved databases, mention it: “Navigated complex databases while drawing up contracts and paperwork for 500+ clients.”
  4. Education List your highest educational qualification (e.g., high school diploma or college degree), along with any significant training or certifications you’ve gained that relate to the job, such as certification in Microsoft Office, or a Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE).

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Do’s and don’ts for your resume

  • DO customize your resume for different job applications. Legal secretary jobs will have different requirements for different employers. When crafting your resume, make sure your content is specific to the job you’re applying for. For example, one position may focus on scheduling and calendaring, while another might stress preparing shell documents for pleadings, discovery and motions. Create different versions of your resume, tailoring your skills and work history to match what the specific job needs.
  • DO complement work history with skills to present a compelling story of your career. Just listing impressive qualities isn’t enough — show in your work history section how you’ve used your skills to make a positive impact. For example, if you list “managing multiple deadlines/priorities” as a skill, give an example from your work history that confirms this trait. For example: “Managed documents and scheduling for up to 6 cases per day for a legal firm of 50 employees.” Connecting your skills and your experiences tells employers that not only can you talk the talk, but you can walk the walk.
  • DO check your resume for typos and mistakes. Legal work requires accuracy — and a sure way to sour legal employers is to pepper your resume with silly mistakes. Proofread your resume a few times before you send it; you can even have a trusted colleague review it. This is also your chance to make sure the content in your resume is up-to-date, and fits job requirements.
  • DON’T fabricate any information. Your resume needs to be 100% authentic. Exaggerating or adding false information (such as skills that you don’t have, or the certifications that you are yet to earn) might be found out and considered to be a deliberate lie. Review your resume and make sure that all the facts you present are true, and can be backed up by your formal credentials or former employers.
  • DON’T make your resume too long. On average, your resume has only 7.4 seconds to make an impression with a recruiter. Don’t pack your resume with too many details, or extend it past one page — otherwise, you run the risk of losing employers’ interest. Focus on including your best 8 to 10 skills, and don’t feature more than a handful of bullet points for each work experience. Above all, make sure the skills and work history you do feature directly addresses what the job requires.
  • DON’T forget to add certifications relevant to the position. Additional training you’ve had in project management or office organization can be valuable for this line of work (e.g., a certificate in Business Office Administration) — make sure you add any coursework or certifications in these areas to your education section.

Legal secretary resume FAQ

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this position?

Though a formal degree is not always required for this position, having the right training adds value to your resume. In addition to certifications you can get in software that’s important to the job (e.g., a  certification in Clio), look to gain the following training:

  • Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS), National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS)
  • Professional Legal Secretary (PLS), National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS)
  • Certificate in Business Office Administration

3. How should you format your resume?

For positions that require a few years of experience, use the combination format for your resume. With this format, you can outline your top skills, as well as relevant experiences from other jobs (even if they’re in other fields) that apply to a legal secretary role. For jobs that don’t require as much experience, go with a functional format, which gives you an expanded skills section where you can detail the full range of your abilities, and even sub-categorize your skills (e.g., “Administrative Skills” and “Soft Skills”).

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

To move up the career ladder in this profession, you have options:

  • To become a paralegal, get a certificate or an Associate of Science degree in Paralegal Studies. Emphasize skills and work experiences in areas such as negotiation, court transcription, research and analysis.
  • To move up to a legal office manager position, gain further training and certifications in office management and administration, and improve your expertise with office and legal software.
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