Embarking on a career as a Legal Secretary can be an exciting journey, filled with a wide range of emotions. Alongside your enthusiasm, it is perfectly normal to feel slight trepidation when writing your first CV and realizing that you have no existing work experience in the position you are hoping to land. At this point, it is important to remember that your career history is likely to hold a wealth of transferable skills which can be applied directly to your new role, even if the two professions seem completely unrelated. When writing your CV it is vital that you accurately identify and link your previous experience to the position you are applying for by pinpointing your most relevant and transferable skills. If you are wondering how to make your credentials work for you, then this is the article for you.
The first step to identifying transferrable skills on your CV is to dissect and scrutinize the role of a Legal Secretary. Write down the skills, experience, and traits that are required. After this, write down your career history and carefully analyze what you have learned within each role. You should then cross-reference between the two lists in order to form a basis for your CV. The skill set required of a Legal Secretary includes:
Legal Secretaries will often be the first point of contact when approaching a firm. Due to this, they need to have excellent customer service skills and the ability to communicate effectively. It is obviously important that a Legal Secretary has the knowledge to deal with queries that are directed to them, but it is equally important that they be able to answer queries in a professional and confident manner. Individuals coming from a customer service or retail background will excel at this aspect of the role, having had experience working with the public.
Working as a Legal Secretary may mean that you find yourself working with a difficult colleague or client, or you may come across a problem that needs your input in order to be resolved. Problem-solving skills allow you to use logic, rationality, and analysis in a calm way to find a solution to any problem that may occur within the workplace. If you’ve ever worked in a school, within healthcare or in a management role, you will have used your problem-solving skills regularly and can apply these to a Legal Secretary position.
Having excellent IT skills is paramount in the life of the Legal Secretary, as the bulk of the role involves efficient document production. Teachers, receptionists, typists, and writers all use word processing.
Many jobs require individuals to work as part of a team, perhaps you have worked in the hospitality industry or maybe within Human Resources. If so, you will be familiar with the importance of this skill. Teamwork within a Legal Secretary role involves working towards a common goal as part of a unit and will include discussing clients’ needs as well as handling the overflow from fellow colleagues. Another important part of this skill is its importance in boosting morale in the workplace, learning from other people, strengthening bonds and having performance and ideas reaffirmed by others.
Legal Secretaries need to be able to produce legal documents to a faultless standard, which requires an exemplary level of attention to detail. Accountants, architects, proof-readers and pharmacists, among others, will have developed the excellent observational skills required for the role.
We hope this article will help you see the value of your experience and help you to highlight your transferrable skills. Use it to its best advantage and show prospective employers what a desirable candidate you are. Good luck with your new career!
Article contributed by Jasmine Jellicoe
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs
020 7100 9210
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA). 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 their website.