As a paralegal, you must be organised, discreet and pay strong attention to detail.
If you know you’ve got what it takes, that’s great! But in order to kickstart your legal career, you must first make your case to the recruiter.
It’s time to put your communication skills to work, as well as make the most of our entry level paralegal CV example and guide below, and you’re sure to win.
Entry Level Paralegal CV example
Unsure of what your Entry Level Paralegal CV should look like?
Have a look at the CV example above to get familiar with the structure, layout and format of a professional CV.
As you can see, it provides plenty of relevant information about the applicant but is still very easy to read, and brief – which will please busy recruiters and hiring managers.
Entry Level Paralegal CV structure & formatting
First impressions count, so a sloppy, disorganised CV may cause your CV to be overlooked..
Instead, perfect the format and structure of your CV by working to a clear logical structure and applying some simple formatting tricks to ease readability.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step; if your CV lacks readability, your written content won’t even be seen.
How to format your CV
- Length: If you want to hold the reader’s attention and ensure your CV isn’t yawn-worthy, it’s best to stick to two sides of A4 or less. This is more than enough room to highlight why you’re a good match for the role – anything more can quickly become tedious!
- Readability: Columns, lists, bullet points, bold text and subtle colour can all help to aid the readability of your CV. Your overarching goal should be to make the content as easy to read and navigate as possible, whilst also aiming to make your key skills and achievements stand out.
- CV design: While it’s okay to add your own spin to your CV, avoid overdoing the design. If you go for something elaborate, you might end up frustrating recruiters who, above anything, value simplicity and clarity.
- Photographs: Recruiters can’t factor in appearance, gender or race into the recruitment process, so a profile photo is not usually needed. However, creative employers do like to see them, so you can choose to include one if you think it will add value to your CV .
Quick tip: Creating a professional CV style can be difficult and time-consuming when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To create a winning CV quickly, try our partner’s CV builder and use one of their eye-catching professional CV templates.
As you write your CV, divide and sub-head into the following sections:
- Name and contact details – Always start with these, so employers know exactly how to get in touch with you.
- CV profile – Add a short summary of your relevant experience, skills and achievements, which highlights your suitability.
- Core skills section – A 2-3 columned list of your key skills.
- Work experience – A detailed list of any relevant work experience, whether paid or voluntary.
- Education – An overview of your academic background and any training you may have completed.
- Hobbies and interests – A brief overview of your hobbies and interests, if they’re relevant (optional).
Now, let’s take a closer look at what you should include in each section of your CV.
CV Contact Details
Begin by sharing your contact details, so it’s easy for employers to give you a call.
Keep to the basics, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It should sound professional, with no slang or nicknames. Make a new one for your job applications if necessary.
- Location – Simply share your vague location, for example ‘Manchester’, rather than a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update them before you send your application.
Entry Level Paralegal CV Profile
Recruiters and hiring managers are busy, so it’s essential to catch their attention from the get-go.
A strong introductory profile (or personal statement, for junior candidates) at the top of the CV is the first thing they’ll read, so it’s a great chance to make an impression.
It should be a short but punchy summary of your key skills, relevant experience and accomplishments.
Ultimately, it should explain why you’re a great fit for the role you’re applying for and inspire recruiters to read the rest of your CV.
CV profile writing tips:
- Make it short and sharp: It might be tempting to submit a page-long CV profile, but recruiters won’t have the time to read it. To ensure every word gets read, it’s best to include high-level information only; sticking to a length of 3-5 lines.
- Tailor it: Before writing your CV, make sure to do some research. Figure out exactly what your desired employers are looking for and make sure that you are making those requirements prominent in your CV profile, and throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: You only have a small space for your CV profile, so avoid writing down your career goals or objectives. If you think these will help your application, incorporate them into your cover letter instead.
- Avoid generic phrases: If your CV is riddled with clichès like “Dynamic thought-leader”, hit that delete button. Phrases like these are like a broken record to recruiters, who read them countless times per day. Hard facts, skills, knowledge and results are sure to yield far better results.
Example CV profile for Entry Level Paralegal
What to include in your Entry Level Paralegal CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Start with a brief summary of your relevant experience so far. How many years experience do you have? What type of companies have you worked for? What industries/sectors have you worked in? What are your specialisms?
- Relevant skills: Highlight your skills which are most relevant to Entry Level Paralegal jobs, to ensure that recruiters see your most in-demand skills as soon as they open your CV.
- Vital qualifications: If you have any qualifications which are highly relevant to Entry Level Paralegal jobs, then highlight them in your profile so that employers do not miss them.
Quick tip: If you are finding it difficult to write an attention-grabbing CV profile, choose from hundreds of pre-written profiles across all industries, and add one to your CV with one click in our partner’s CV builder. All profiles are written by recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
Underneath your profile, write a core skills section to make your most relevant skills jump off the page at readers.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points of your relevant skills.
Before you do this, look over the job description and make a list of any specific skills, specialisms or knowledge required.
Then, make sure to use your findings in your list. This will paint you as the perfect match for the role.
Vital skills for your Entry Level Paralegal CV
Legal Research – identifying and finding the laws that apply to the facts of a case in support of a specific legal issue or decision.
Commercial Law – evidencing academic experience working with the law surrounding the rights, relations, and conduct of businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales.
Office Administration – completing administrative duties such as greeting visitors, answering phones, communicating with solicitors, conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, and managing schedules.
Report Writing – writing detailed reports which explain the legal and factual issues in a case, and its likely outcomes.
EU Law – evidence an academic understanding of the system of rules operating within the member states of the European Union (EU).
Quick tip: Our partner’s CV builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Your work experience section
Next up is your work experience section, which is normally the longest part of your CV.
Start with your current (or most recent) job and work your way backwards through your experience.
Can’t fit all your roles? Allow more space for your recent career history and shorten down descriptions for your older roles.
Structuring each role
Whilst writing your CV, it’s essential to look at it from the eyes of a recruiter.
If they’re met with giant blocks of text which are impossible to navigate, they might get frustrated and skip onto the next CV.
Instead, make use of the 3-step structure shown below, to give them a pleasant reading experience.
Start with a solid introduction to your role as a whole, in order to build some context.
Explain the nature of the organisation you worked for, the size of the team you were part of, who you reported to and what the overarching purpose of your job was.
Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.
Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.
Lastly, add impact by highlight 1-3 key achievements that you made within the role.
Struggling to think of an achievement? If it had a positive impact on your company, it counts.
For example, you might increased company profits, improved processes, or something simpler, such as going above and beyond to solve a customer’s problem.
Sample job description for Entry Level Paralegal CV
Completed a summer internship at international online banking firm Monzo, supporting the commercial law department as a junior paralegal and shadowing senior lawyers during high-profile contract deals.
- Conducted factual and legal research to support contract writing and cases
- Assisted on a variety of cases including acquisitions, disposals of partnership and shareholder arrangements
- Processed and filed legal documents and client correspondence
- Used briefs to draft legal documents and emails and letters to clients, using appropriate professional language and correct legal terms
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our partner’s CV builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Education and qualifications section
At the bottom of your CV is your full education section. You can list your formal academic qualifications, such as:
- A levels
As well as any specific Entry Level Paralegal qualifications that are essential to the jobs you are applying for. Note down the name of the qualification, the organisation at which you studied, and the date of completion.
Hobbies and interests
Although this is an optional section, it can be useful if your hobbies and interests will add further depth to your CV.
Interests which are related to the sector you are applying to, or which show transferable skills like leadership or teamwork, can worth listing.
On the other hand, generic hobbies like “going out with friends” won’t add any value to your application, so are best left off your CV.
Writing your Entry Level Paralegal CV
A strong, compelling CV is essential to get noticed and land interviews with the best employers.
To ensure your CV stands out from the competition, make sure to tailor it to your target role and pack it with sector-specific skills and results.
Remember to triple-check for spelling and grammar errors before hitting send.
Good luck with the job search!