Cover Letter Tips For Paralegals

As the old adage goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." So if you want HR to pick up the phone and schedule you for an interview for that paralegal position you set your sights on, your cover letter had better sparkle! This is it. This is your first impression. Before you deliver your resume and cover letter to a prospective employer, follow these simple guidelines to ensure your resume doesn't end up lining the recycle bin.
For employers, the ability to follow directions is a vital component of job performance. That's why it is imperative you respond in the manner specified in the ad. If the ad requests resumes by email, don't hand deliver it or call the firm and ask for a fax number. While it is important to stand out amongst other applicants, the last thing you want to do is to be remembered as the applicant who couldn't follow simple directions.
Employers look for a statement within the body of your cover letter that ties your experience to the requirements of their specific opening. If you don't have the exact experience requested, this document can be used to demonstrate how your training or transferable skills make you a qualified applicant. Sometimes this can be a significant challenge - especially for career changers. But don't fret! This is your opportunity to add a personal touch.
Be sure to customize your cover letter. Whenever possible, research the firm, company or agency and use your research to demonstrate how your skills are in harmony with its focus. In addition, find out the name of the individual in human resources receiving resumes. If this information is not available in the ad, call the firm and ask the receptionist for the name of the person fielding incoming resumes. You may also be able to find this information on the firm's website.
Proofreading is the final and essential step that must be taken before your letter can be considered complete. When proofreading, you should first read it slowly and carefully to determine whether it flows in a logical order. Finally, you should search for errors in spelling, word usage, grammar, and punctuation. Remember, this document is how you will introduce yourself to your potential employer, and a poorly written, lackluster cover letter is like a limp handshake. Not a good first impression!
These are just a handful of some of the common pitfalls of writing cover letters. You can find you can find easy to use, helpful information about cover letters, resumes, jobs and paralegal training at Paralegal Training Programs Headquarters is a site dedicated to helping everyone begin and advance their career as a paralegal. For a free assessment of your resume and cover letter, email your resume to

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