It is important to never assume that a recruiter is going to read your CV at the same time as your covering letter. So, if there is something important that makes you a good candidate for the role, you need to initially highlight it in the covering letter. Your Legal Secretaries Diploma qualification, previous legal or office experience, and transferable skills should always be mentioned.
Equally, don’t assume recruiters will automatically know what your qualification or experience is going to bring to the role. It is your job to explain it to them. They need to be confident that you know what makes a good Legal Secretary and why your skills are applicable. The covering letter allows you to expand on important things in ways you cannot do in your CV.
For example, if you are applying for a Conveyancing Legal Secretary role, rather than simply mentioning that you have a Legal Secretaries Diploma, you could write:
“I have recently achieved a Legal Secretaries Diploma with ILSPA. The course included a comprehensive unit on Land Law and Conveyancing. My in-depth knowledge of this area means that I have the confidence to assist fee earners at any stage of the conveyancing process, including producing and completing the relevant forms and searches.”
Or perhaps, if you are applying for a Wills and Probate Legal Secretary role, you could write:
“I am passionate about all areas of law, but within the Legal Secretaries Diploma course I passed, I found that I excelled in the Wills and Probate unit. My understanding of this area of law, together with my meticulous attention to detail, meant that I achieved a distinction.”
The same is true for when you speak about transferable skills. Let’s use customer service as an example. Legal Secretaries are often the face of a company and so will be dealing with clients and other professionals on a daily basis. Therefore, customer service is a very useful skill for them to have. You could simply mention that you come from a customer service background in your covering letter. But, if you really want to impress the recruiter, you need to explain why that is beneficial for a Legal Secretary. So, you could write:
“Coming from a hospitality background, I pride myself on my people skills and my ability to think quickly and calmly in any situation. Customer service has been central to my role for the past three years and I am keen to apply my expertise to a new role. Legal Secretaries are the face of a law firm and are responsible for communicating with clients and legal professionals on the law firm’s behalf. I believe that, with my experience, I would be an ideal representative for your firm.”