Is it Résumé or Resume? The Answer Once and For All

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AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

Résumé or resume? That is the question. You've problem seen resume spelled both ways (and maybe even as resumé!). And you're probably wondering which resume spelling is correct — or are the both spelled correctly? (We'll stick to resume for the purposes of this article!)

Here's the fact: You can spell resume both with or without accents (one or both). Why are résumé and resume spelled the same? Well, resume is actually the English version of résumé, which is a French word. In France, the French spell resume with the accents, and it's pronounced "raise-you-may." Americans, however, have taken the word résumé and have simply removed the accents. 

Résumé or resume? According to the dictionary...

So should you spell resume with or without the accents? Many people still choose to include the accents when writing the word resume, though many others keep them off — the choice is, ultimately, yours.
While the Merriam-Webster dictionary primarily spells resume without the accents, "The New York Times" stylebook recommends using both accents. So take your pick!
But, first things first, it's important to understand what the accents even mean. What is the accent mark over the e in resume called, after all? These accents are called acute accents — they are also known as accent argue (a dash above the e that bows to the right), and they indicate a high-pitched pronunciation. They should not be confused with grave accents which are symbolized with a dash about the e that bows to the left to indicate a low-pitched pronunciation. 

According to the  Merriam-Webster dictionary, resume is spelled without the accents in English. Again, however, you can choose to spell resume as "resume," "résumé" or even "resumé." All three of these spellings will be accepted, and no one will think twice about your choice of spelling — it will neither reflect positively nor negatively on you as a job applicant, for example.

The thing is that the word resume, even without the accents, is so ingrained in the English language that we all just sort of innately know how the pronounce it — we no longer need the accents, as they're a bit antiquated these days.

The only time you might want to be hyper conscious of the way you spell the noun resume is if it could be at all confused with the verb "resume" (pronounced re-zoom) as in to start again after an interruption (i.e. resume a television show after a commercial break or resume work after a lunch meeting). But the chances that you'll be writing the noun resume and the verb resume in the same context, let alone in the same paragraph or sentence, are probably slim to none — and, even if you are, you can probably avoid it. 

How do you type resume with the accent?

If you do decide to spell resume with the accent(s), you're probably wondering how to include the accents when typing the word resume.
If you're using a Mac In Microsoft Word or Google Drive, follow these steps:
  • Hold down the Option key and the letter "e."  
  • An accent will appear.
  • Type the letter "e" again.
  • The letter "e" with an accent will appear.
If you're using a Dell, follow these steps with the ALT key.
If you're really struggling to figure out the keys, you can always Google the letter "e" with an accent mark and copy and paste it. Make sure to fix the font, color and size in case it's different from the rest of your text, however.

What is the most common spelling of resume?

While you can spell resume as "resume," "résumé" or "resumé," Merriam-Webster lists the spellings in this order: "résumé," "resume" and "resumé," which means that the first two are both pretty common but the last version isn't so common. The absolute most common spelling of the word used in job searches today is "resume" without the accents.
All three spellings are acceptable and correct but, if you want to stick with the most popular route, choose to drop the accents in the word resume. (This is assuming you're based in the United States or another English-speaking country — or applying for a job in the United States or another English-speaking country!) 
We get it — this feels like a silly decision to make. But because you've seen resume spelled so many different ways, know that you're not alone in wondering about it. And because you have to likely write the word resume in your job application emails (like "Please find my resume attached!" or "I'm attaching a copy of my resume for your reference!"), we don't blame you for wanting to be absolutely sure that you're spelling the word correctly. After all, you don't want to ruin your chances at a job because you spelled your otherwise perfect resume wrong.
So rest assured that you're safe with whatever spelling of the word resume you choose! 
Good luck with your job hunt and remember to put as much effort into spelling the words on your resume and cover letter as you are into spelling the word resume! If you give your spelling as much as attention as you've given this article briefing you on how to spell the word resume, you'll have a better shot at landing your dream job! So read, re-read and get another pair of eyes to read your materials before submitting them.
You've got this!

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.