Applying for paralegal roles successfully will require a strong CV; but if you are new to the industry, you may not have a huge amount of legal experience to write about.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything valuable to offer, because you probably have a wealth of transferable skills you can demonstrate.

By focusing your CV on transferable skills, you can significantly increase the chance of your CV making its way to the ‘yes’ pile, even without years of legal experience.

So, what transferable skills that you already possess can make your paralegal CV shine?



A huge proportion in your role as a paralegal will be communication-based. Recruiters will be looking for excellent communication skills so that you can successfully cover duties such as contacting people for research and writing statements for witnesses. You may also be asked to interview clients which means both written and verbal communication skills are essential.

Of course, every candidate will say they have great communication skills, so how can you evidence this in your CV to stand out? The best way is to give examples such as mentioning presentations you have completed (and state audience numbers too). You may have also conducted research for university projects that can showcase your communication. Where possible, bring the examples to life with facts, figures and statistics.  



A paralegal will be responsible for numerous tasks that need to be juggled at the same time, with this in mind, organisation is critical. Evidencing your ability to classify, order and organise quickly and efficiently will be essential. Explaining administrative duties in your employment history can help to show your organisation. Furthermore, explaining the tools, software and techniques that you use when organising can really help. You can demonstrate these skills through a number of outside-of-work activities, such as studies, volunteering or hobbies and interests.



Whether you are scheduling court meetings or organising your workload, you will need to be able to plan and prioritise. University assignments can be an excellent way to show how your plan and prioritise. Using planning software and tools in your past work experience help to evidence your planning skills. You may also consider a project that you were involved in that took a great deal of planning such as event management or complex assignments.



As a paralegal, you will have to tread a careful balance between the lawyer and the client. Negotiation is critical for the success of your own job as well as for the business and client. Knowing how to be flexible as well as being able to stand your ground is essential, in order for you to achieve the most successful outcome.

You can evidence your skills for negotiation through any debates during your studies as well as examples of implementing process changes or adopting a different way of working that was initially met with resistance.


Attention to detail

Throughout your law studies, you’ll know that accuracy and attention to detail are critical for any paralegal job so this must be clearly evidenced in your CV. Most paralegals will state they have ‘great attention to detail’ on their CV. However, to prove this in your application, there are several things to do;

  • Ensure your CV is immaculate with absolutely no mistakes
  • Evidence any proofreading activities you have undertaken, such as fact-checking and editing
  • Explain any numerical tasks you were responsible for (such as cashing up, or cash flow management)
  • Examples of drafting policies and procedures.



In any paralegal role, there will be complexities that you will need to unravel and resolve. However, most people will have plenty of experience in overcoming obstacles during their studies or professional life. Make sure to demonstrate at least one example of when you have personally found a new way to conduct a task that is better than the previous method. Consider improvements customer satisfaction, speed, efficiency and the ability to managing deadlines when issues crop up.

When providing a problem-solving example, it can be tempting to explain it as a team effort. However, recruiters will want to see your personal contribution to problem-solving, so make sure to make that clear in your CV.


Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

Need more help with your CV? Download our CV guide below:

The Hottest Legal Jobs in London Right Now

The Hottest Legal Jobs in London Right Now

While Covid-19 has already ravished certain industries, the good news is that the number of law firms continuing recruitment as normal is growing. Some large city and regional firms have not felt forced to make drastic changes to staffing levels. Today we take a look...

Seeking a better salary as a legal secretary

Seeking a better salary as a legal secretary

Progressing in a Legal Secretary role means you can benefit from higher pay in salary.  The average salary for a Legal Secretary in 2019 was £21,629.27. This average dropped slightly from 2018, by -3.21%. Salaries would also vary by region and by the size of the...

Courses Paralegals can tackle at home

Courses Paralegals can tackle at home

Despite the recent relaxation of a few lockdown measures, many of us are still working from home. If this applies to you, and you are a paralegal, or a wannabe paralegal, what can you do to tackle the boredom that you may well be fighting off?   What makes an...

Searching for new job opportunities during COVID-19

Searching for new job opportunities during COVID-19

The last couple of months spent in lockdown has affected many lives in the legal industry, with staff now working from home, working reduced hours, or unfortunately, being furloughed. Jobs are more scarce because many employers can't justify bringing on new staff in...

How to cope with stress and anxiety

How to cope with stress and anxiety

It’s natural for anyone to fall victim to stress or anxiety at any point in life, whether you are prone to these conditions or you’re going through a particularly difficult situation, like divorce, bereavement, or even lockdown at the hands of coronavirus.  It’s tough...

Share This