Your cover letter serves the following purposes:
- Connecting you immediately with the hiring firm
- Letting the firm know which position you are applying for
- Enthusiastically conveying why the firm should consider you for the position
- Highlighting pertinent parts of your resume
- Providing the firm with a sample of your writing and advocacy skills
In a paralegal job search, an all-purpose cover letter can be an effective time-saver as it serves as a template which you can modify as necessary each time you send your resume to a law firm. An all-purpose paralegal cover letter is a serious letter, but it need not be a dull letter. Your paralegal cover letter should contain active verbs and use active rather than passive voice. Correct spelling, accurate grammar, and immaculate proofreading are all crucial. Minor grammatical errors or typos can create an impression of carelessness and lead the firm to decide against calling you in for a job interview.
If you are a paralegal, your cover letter is probably more important than your resume. If a law firm receives only your resume without a cover letter, you will appear ignorant of professional conventions and possibly confuse the firm.
Your cover letter should contain just enough highlights from your resume to make the hiring manager want to meet you. A good paralegal cover letter distinguishes you from other candidates with similar credentials and backgrounds, but a great paralegal cover letter conveys your experience and accomplishments in a way that inspires potential employers to contact you immediately before they've even considered other candidates.