Law Cover Letter Advice From Nick
When starting out on a new career path, never underestimate the value of strong cover letters. They can help illustrate your professional and personal skills while going into more depth than your resume. To get a better idea of how to write one of your own, take a look at the legal receptionist cover letter example and accompanying writing tips.
- Don’t focus on what the company or job will do to bolster your career. Instead, describe what you can offer the employer and what you’re capable of achieving.
- Do highlight your relevant skills. If your work history doesn’t speak volumes to your qualification to be a legal receptionist, concentrate on the skills that make you a strong candidate, such as self-motivation and client support.
- Do incorporate quantifiable metrics when possible. Hard numbers are a great way to show employers how you’ve achieved results in past positions.
- Don’t be too formal in your writing. While you want to sound professional, avoid sounding too stiff. The goal of your cover letter is to make a professional connection on a personal level.
Legal Receptionist Advice
To become a legal receptionist, you’ll need excellent typing, communication and organizational skills. You’ll also need an attention-grabbing cover letter. The cover letter examples below have been designed especially for legal receptionists, and highlight the skills and experience that employers will be looking for from someone applying for such a position. Click on any of the cover letter examples below to take the next step toward getting hired today!
Cover Letter Tips for Legal Receptionist
Seeking jobs as a Legal Receptionist requires an optimal balance between clear job-search skills and a clear mindset. Follow these tips to help you conquer the job-search process and find the ideal position.
1. Don’t get discouraged. This will be a long hard road, and it will be tempting to become discouraged and give into negative emotions, but you want to make sure that you are keeping up momentum. The moment you get distracted or discouraged is the moment you might miss a potential opportunity.
2. Use your free time wisely. With your increased free time, you want to make sure that you aren’t tempted to slack off. Instead of spending time watching T. V. or surfing the Internet, learn a new skill or take a relevant course. The more you can do to add to your skill set the better.
3. Polish your image. You will also want to spend some time looking through your social media sights to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Many companies investigate potential employees online and you want to make sure only the best of you is posted.
4. Expand your online networks. Explore new industry social media sites, blogs and other outlets and begin to engage in these communities. You will be able to stay up to date on industry standards and research as well as become involved through responses and posts.
5. Get out of the house. Much of today’s job search is conducted online, but you want to make sure that you are also getting out and connecting with people in person. Face to face networking allows potential employers to get to know you on different level that isn’t always apparent on a computer screen.
Legal Receptionist Job Seeking Tips
Your cover letter is one of the best tools in your job-search arsenal. As you look for jobs as a Legal Receptionist, consider these do’s and don’ts to get your cover letter into the best shape possible and wow potential employers.
1. Don’t use distracting fonts or formatting. Your cover letter needs to be easy to read as employers only take seconds to read through them, so avoid flowery fonts or abstract formats.
2. Do be creative in the formatting. While you want to make the document readable, you want to avoid generic word templates. Set your cover letter apart just a little with subtle color additions or different headers.
3. Do follow standard order of information and experiences. The summary and skills should start the cover letter to give a brief idea of who you are followed by work history and education to prove why you are ready for the job.
4. Do list experiences in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent position. Employers want to see what you can immediately bring to the new position.
5. Don’t include outdated experiences. You only want to provide experiences from the last 10-15 years, as more distant experience is no longer relevant to the current position.
Cover Letter Tips
Like the resume, the cover letter is a sample of your written work and should be brief (preferably one page), persuasive, well reasoned, and grammatically perfect. Before crafting your cover letters, review the following tips.
A good cover letter
- Tells the employer who you are and what you are seeking;
- Shows that you know about the particular employer and the kind of work the employer does (i.e., civil or criminal work, direct client service, “impact” cases, antitrust litigation);
- Demonstrates your writing skills;
- Demonstrates your commitment to the work of that particular employer;
- Conveys that you have something to contribute to the employer;
- Shows that you and that employer are a good “fit;” and
- Tells the employer how to get in touch with you by email, telephone, and mail.
Hiring attorneys and recruiting administrators use cover letters to
- Eliminate applicants whose letters contain misspellings (especially of the firm name and the name of the contact person) or other errors;
- Eliminate applicants whose letters show a lack of research, knowledge about, or interest in the employer’s work;
- Eliminate applicants who are unable to exhibit the value they will bring to the employer; and
- See if there are geographic ties or other information to explain the applicant’s interest in that city or employer.
Cover Letter Format
Your current address should be aligned with the center of the page or the left margin. Under your address you should include a telephone number where you can most easily be reached (i.e., your cell phone) and email address. The date is included under that contact information.
Determine to whom you should address the cover letter. If you are applying to law firms, address your letter to the recruiting director, unless you have reason to do otherwise—for example, if you have been instructed to address the letter to a particular attorney at the firm. For NALP member firms, use www.nalpdirectory.com to obtain that contact information. For other firms and public interest employers, you can refer to their websites, or contact the office to determine to whom your materials should be directed. The name of the person to whom the letter is addressed, his or her title, the employer’s name, and address follow the date and are aligned with the left margin. If writing to an attorney, include Esq. after the person’s name. The greeting appears two lines below the employer’s address and should be “Dear Mr.,” “Dear Ms.,” or “Dear Judge.” Avoid addressing your letter generally, such as Dear Sir or Madam; instead take the time to find the contact person and address the letter to that individual.
The body of the cover letter ought to be single-spaced with a line between each paragraph. The closing of the letter (“Sincerely” and your signature) should be two lines below the last line of the letter and either in the center of the page or aligned with the left margin, consistent with how you set up the top of your letter.
Cover Letter Body
Although there are many ways to write a cover letter, the following general format has worked well for candidates in the past.
- In the first paragraph of your cover letter, explain why you are sending your application to the employer: “I am an experienced attorney admitted in New York and am seeking a position with the Trusts and Estates practice group at your organization.” Mention your education background very briefly. In addition, if you have been referred by a mutual contact, you should mention that contact in the first paragraph.
- Use the second paragraph to explain your interest in the employer, including your interest in the employer’s geographic location, reputation, specialty area, or public service.
- In the third paragraph, stress why this employer should hire you. Try not to reiterate what is already included on your resume. Elaborate on the qualifications and experience you have that make you an exceptional attorney. As a lateral candidate it is particularly important to show the value you will bring to the organization.
- The final paragraph should thank the employer for taking the time to review your application and inform the employer of how you can be reached to set up an interview. You may wish to state that you will contact the employer in a couple of weeks to follow up and then actually do so. This is especially true with public interest employers who are often understaffed and will appreciate your extra effort.
For additional general cover letter advice, consult CDO's Introduction to Career Development. You are welcome to schedule an appointment with a CDO counselor to review and discuss your cover letter draft.