Bilingual professionals are in demand across many industries. For the legal sector, having bilingual or multilingual paralegals benefits the law firms and their clients. If you have language skills, it’s essential to know how to highlight them on your resume. Here are the details for where, when, and how to include them on your paralegal resume.
Be Clear About Skill Level
Language skills can be on a spectrum anywhere from “native speaker” to “understand a little.” Be clear about where you are with your skills. If you are verbal but don’t read very well, that may still be fine. If you understand but don’t necessarily speak the language, you need to be honest to not negatively impact your client.
Include Your Skills in the Summary
When writing your resume, be sure to include your language skills in your summary statement or accomplishments. This is the short paragraph at the top of your page telling a potential employer why they should consider you. Include what language, your skill level, and even how it’s helped you professionally in the past.
Highlight Formal Education
If your language skills come from formal education, such as college courses in Spanish or Chinese, you will want to include that in your resume. Most of the time, people list their college name and the degree they’ve earned. But with language, you want to tell an employer how long you studied it and if you had any practical application.
Adjust Work Experience
If another language is essential for the job, be sure to adjust your work experience to reflect your skills. You want the recruiter or hiring manager to review your resume and know instantly that you are someone they want to consider for their open position. Add examples of where the language helped you or your clients.
Show, Don’t Tell
When including your bilingual skills on your resume, don’t fall into the easy trap of just telling an employer about it. Your resume should tell a story. It’s great that you know German or Japanese, but weaving your experience into a narrative will give the hiring manager better context to understand why you will be a good candidate for the job.
Are you a bilingual candidate seeking a job as a paralegal? Contact NRI Legal Staffing to learn more today.