Are you pursuing a career as a Legal Secretary? You might be worried about the standard of your CV, particularly if you don’t have any previous experience to contribute to this role.
Don’t sell yourself short – there are plenty of transferable skills which can be applied directly to your new role.
Look at the CV you currently have. Can you pinpoint previous experience to the position? Compare it to the role of a Legal Secretary (you could also download our helpful CV template here), writing down the skills required, experience and traits required. Then, write down your career history and carefully analyse what you learnt within each role. You should then look to cross-reference between the two lists to form a basis for your CV. Below, The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA’s takes us through some of the skills you can easily transfer from previous roles in to your exciting new career as a Legal Secretary.
Customer service and interpersonal skills
Legal Secretaries are often the first point of contact when approaching a firm, so strong communication and customer service skills are essential. An in-depth knowledge of the firm is also crucial so you can answer any queries directed to you. A professional and confident manner will also go down well. If you have past experience in retail or customer service, you will likely succeed in a role like this, having had plenty of experience dealing with the public.
There is no shortage of jobs that require a high level of organisation. If you have ever been self-employed, worked with children, been part of a large team or had to travel with work alot, you will have needed excellent organisation skills to ensure your day ran smoothly. An organised Legal Secretary is an efficient one, so definitely include any examples of this skills within your CV.
Administration experience involves a great deal of multi-tasking. Organisation and efficiency are both key with this type of skill. If you’ve ever dealt with the management of a certain area within a workplace, answered telephone calls, scheduled meetings, sorted post or maintained office equipment, this will all help.
Ever had experience of working with a difficult client? Perhaps disgruntled customers? Problem-solving skills allow you to use logic, rationality and analysis in a calm way to find a resolution to any problem that may occur within the workplace. Working in a school, within healthcare or in a management role, you will have used your problem-solving skills regularly, which you will definitely be able to highlight in your Legal Secretary CV.
Word processing and IT skills
Excellent IT skills are essential for a secretarial role – if you’ve worked as a teacher, receptionist or typist, or even been a writer in the past, these all require word processing.
Like many jobs, teamwork is the glue that allows an organisation to thrive. Teamwork is also useful when working towards a common goal as part of a unit, discussing clients’ needs and handling the overflow from fellow colleagues. It can also boost morale, help you to learn skills from others and strengthen bonds in the workplace.
Attention to detail
Legal documents must be produced to a faultless standard, therefore it requires an exemplary level of attention to detail. Accountants, architects, proofreaders and pharmacists will have developed the excellent observational skills required for this role.
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA) is a professional body who are dedicated to your career every step of the way. Whether you would like to become a Legal Secretary or you would like to advance your Legal Secretary career, they are there to support you through your journey. For more information visit: www.institutelegalsecretaries.com.