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Creating an effective resume is one of the first steps toward finding your dream job. To give you a head start, our career experts have examined this California legal assistant resume sample and highlighted a few issues that can occur on any resume. Reviewing the points below will give a clearer understanding of what to do and not to do when composing your own professional resume.
A summary starts your resume off on the right foot, giving an opening pitch for a potential employer to remember you by. The professional overview on this resume sample is a good start, but could use more detail. While you don’t want to go overboard with a too-long summary that might not be read in full, you should provide a clear picture of your professional self. The ideal summary is four to six lines long, including your most relevant work experience in addition to a few skills and character traits. The summary should be in paragraph format with capitalization and periods at the end of sentences, though sentence fragments are acceptable. Here as well as the rest of the resume, use first person, not third person to describe yourself and your achievements. Improved Summary: Legal Secretary with over 30 years’ experience in the field, effective at taking on large and small tasks with minimal guidance, including using my knowledge of legal procedures to conduct client interviews and draft court documents. As office manager and assistant, I maintain calendars and successfully apply my time management and organizational skills to produce quality work.
Arranging your skills
A list of skills is a great way to explain your strongest abilities to an employer. To make them easier to take in at a glance, group related skills together on the list, and put the most relevant and notable skills first. Also, while you shouldn’t be shy about stating your proficiencies, try to avoid obvious padding, and edit your list as needed to keep it current and relevant. On this sample, the skills list begins with “Word Perfect,” a lesser used program in most modern offices. It would be better to include it as part of the “Word processing” aptitude, and begin the list with a more apt skill such as “Notary Public.”
Keep your work experience targeted
Your professional experience is the main selling point of most resumes. While a long list of duties can look impressive, it also runs the risk of being skimmed rather than read completely, such that significant details might be missed. To ensure that the hiring manager focuses on the most important aspects of your work experience, limit the list of responsibilities and accomplishments under any one position to five to eight of the most relevant points. If you have more significant achievements than can reasonably fit, move them to a separate section. On this resume sample, responsibilities such as maintaining office supplies don’t need to be specifically mentioned as they can be assumed to be part of general office management. Generally, only list the last fifteen to twenty years of your work history, unless you’ve only worked at a single company or you held a position that is specifically relevant and noteworthy to the employment you’re currently seeking. The final legal assistant job described on this resume sample is very similar to the candidate’s current position and dates from more than twenty years ago, so does not need to be included. Trimming superfluous information makes your resume more readable and keeps attention on your best attributes. The problems described in this legal assistant resume sample can be avoided in your own, now that you know what to look for. Apply your knowledge and make your own standout resume today with QuintCareer’s Resume Builder.