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Resume Tips

Two Common Mistakes Paralegals Make when Writing t...
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You applied for that wonderful paralegal position and never heard anything back from the company and you probably thought oh well, maybe I was not qualified for the job or too many resumes were submitted.

OR, you are currently employed but have updated your resume just in case you may start looking for a new job.

Well most employers or Talent Acquisition personnel are scanning your resume looking for key words and something else – (1) whether your grammar is correct and (2) whether you are stating that you are a “certified” paralegal from an ABA “accredited” program.

These are two reasons your resume is being tossed, no matter how well qualified you are.

First mistake, in your current job, you say: “Reviews documents; performs filings; conducts research” etc. This is wrong as you are referring to yourself in the third person and this is your current job. Your description must always be in the first tense. You cannot talk about yourself in the “he/she” tense. When you write, “reviews, performs, conducts, etc”, you are saying, “She reviews; she performs; she conducts”. I admit, I do this too. Just check my LinkedIn profile.

Your current job description must always be in the first person – so place “I” in front of the word.

For past positions, your descriptions should be in the past tense: “Reviewed; performed; conducted, etc.” Writing in the wrong tense tells the employer; you cannot write.

Second mistake, unless you have taken the National Federation of Paralegal’s Association (NFPA) Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE) or the Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE) or the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) exams and passed you are not certified. Just because you took your final exams in paralegal school or completed a certificate course does not mean you are certified. You have a certificate of completion from your school. So, do not use the phrase “certified” paralegal.

Know the difference between certificated and certified.

Placing “ABA accredited” or “ABA certified” on your resume. The ABA does not accredit anything AT ALL. Nor does it certify anyone. Your paralegal program or school may be ABA approved (or not). There are only about 100 schools in the US that are ABA approved, never accredited or certified.

So now that you are aware of these two mistakes, go take a quick look at your resume before you send it to a prospective employer and ensure that you are not making these mistakes. Hopefully you land that wonderful job.

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