Correct Resume Spelling: Résumé, Resumé, or Other

Resume spelling? Let's get this right once and for all! How do you properly spell resume and why is there more than one spelling anyway?

Resume résumé, which one should it be? And when you use an accent, is it résumé or resumé?

We're here to break that down for you, we will talk about the spelling and go over just what the differences mean - if they really mean anything.

resume spelling

What's a Resume Accent?

If you've seen resume spelled with those little marks over the "e", you may or may not have wondered about them. These marks are ultimately used to define a specific accent in the word. Sometimes, you might see them over both "E"'s or just over the last "e" in the word.

Other times, you may not see those marks at all. You will notice how it is spelled may vary depending on the source.

For example, the New York style book puts a heavy emphasis on the acute accent to denote that this word comes from a foreign language into the English language. And then sources like Merriam Webster skips the accents.

These accents are used because the English form of the word comes from the French word résumé where the accents stem from when you spell resume.

resume spelling

Where did the resume accent come from

When you spell the word résumé, the accent is known as an acute accent. That accent mark is different from works like a la mode and resume with accents actually faces the accents in the opposite direction, with a slant towards the right.

It is important to know the forms in this case. Grave accents face the opposite direction and are meant to connotate a different meaning as well in summary.

These acute accents are used in the French spelling of the word résumé.

When spelling resume, this can look professional and appropriate if you are applying for a job. Some jobs actually do look for this but your career will most likely not be dependent upon it.

resume spelling

Spelling résumé under curriculum vitae uses both accent markings over the letter e but the American Heritage dictionary assumes the word without the accents and this is the most common spelling of resume used currently.

When borrowing the word, it can be used as résumé or resumé. However, it is far more common to use the acute accents on each letter e within the word.

resume spelling

The American Heritage Directory defines it as

When you review the American Heritage Dictionary you find that they acknowledge all three versions of the spelling of resume - both with and without the accents or with one accent.

Resume, résumé, or resumé are all correct. In this source, resume is defined as a brief account of one's professional or work experience and qualifications, often submitted with a job application.

resume spelling

Wiktionary defines it as

When you type resume into Wiktionary, you will find the word word resumé, résumé, and resume. This one takes these words one step further and actually also provides a spelling with one accent over just the first letter e.

In some other sources, This last spelling is actually distinctly forbidden and listed as not correct.

Where the two accent comes primarily from a British background, we see a bit more pronunciation here.

The word spellings are derived from Anglo-Norman, Middle French, and Latin, and translated to be pronounced as resume in American English.

resume spelling

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines it as

Merriam Webster approaches resume without the accents but their official definition of the word is accented. You will find that they list more than one form as acceptable in writing.

We want to point out, the first thing you see is the verb form of resume or resumes.

The English word is defined as a short account of one's career and qualifications in their dictionaries. The summary also shows you how to pronounce with or without the accents.

They have related definitions and examples for all spellings.

Oxford Advanced American Directory defines it as

The Oxford Learner's dictionaries distinctly uses the mark on both E's within the word. The pronunciation is very clear with a singular version to refer to in this article.

The spelling uses two accents and there are no alternative words provided in this instance. The formal definition is a short summary or account of something.

In these dictionaries, the word is described as originating from late Middle English.

resume spelling

When should I use it?

Technically speaking, you can use resumé, résumé, or resume and they are all correct. Of these, the use of resumé is the least popular for the word.

It's up to you to determine when to use the accent mark when you type resume. All words are acceptable. Some employers do specifically look for the special characters when you apply for a job.

There is an understanding in the professional industry that spelling résumé with accents looks more professional at a glance. There are also some who feel that résumé can be almost slightly intimidating.

If you are applying for jobs in a professional business industry, we recommend using résumé or perhaps resumé. However, it is acceptable to use resume and it won't necessarily negate your eligibility for the job.

What's an acute accent?

The acute accent is used in spellings like resumé and résumé to indicate that the sound is slightly altered from the traditional pronunciation of such a word.

In this case, where an "e" would either have a short or a long sound in American English, it takes on a sound that really is more like a long "a" because of the accented letters.

The accents denote the change in the language to notate that it is said slightly differently than how one might pronounce resume.

What are accent marks?

These marks are small, slanted dashes that are above particular letters on a word. They almost look like an apostrophe but they are located directly above the letter.

When you write, you will make this mark and when you are typing or completing forms, there are some tricks for making Google Docs or Microsoft add these marks to your document or article as well.

In the case of the spelling of resume, you can place a mark over the final "e" for resumé or both "e" for résumé.

resume spelling

Difference between acute accent and accent marks

The word accent mark primarily refers to any version of characters that notate a specific letter. This is the broad category but there are a number of different marks that qualify on any document.

Most dictionary searches will show you how to spell or write with or without the marks but some will favor a certain version of the word.

When you write, an accent mark can be a lot of different things. However, the acute mark is specifically a vertical dash that is angled to the right just slightly.

How to Spell the Word Resume

You will always spell resume using these exact letters. This is true of any document, whether you are looking at jobs, typing a job resume, or simply writing something out.

The key is to spell the word correctly. If you spell resume r-e-s-u-m-e then you have your resume spelling accurate.

If you want to spruce up your resume or writing for a job or document, go ahead and spell resume using accents. However, the word resume is not incorrect when spelled without them.

How to write resume accents in Microsoft Word

We know what you're thinking now. When you type the word resume, it doesn't automatically add those accents so how do you get them there?

No matter how many times you push that "e" key, you might need some extra help to get the resume spelling just how you want it. Check out these tips for different versions of software!

Here are your instructions for Microsoft Word.

  1. Start typing out resume
  2. As you reach the e, use the following shortcut
  3. CTRL + ' (the apostrophe key) + e
  4. The end result is an accented e in the word resume

Writing resume accents on a Mac

  1. Start typing the word resume
  2. As you reach the "e", click the Option key -e + e and you will get your accent e
  3. Do this for each e that you want to accent in the word resume


The option key on a mac is often a replacement of the CTRL or the alt key in many functions that you make for shortcuts in related items from other software moderators.

Getting accent marks in Google Docs

While some versions have shortcuts, there really isn't a shortcut for putting the word resume into Google dogs with appropriate accenting notations.

However, you can do it. It just takes a little bit of manual process.

  1. Type the word resume
  2. On the e, go to the Insert menu
  3. Find special characters and then Latin
  4. In the Latin characters, you should find an accented é

The copy and paste method for accent markings

If you've tried everything and you still can't get resume to cooperate for you, it's quite alright!

Maybe you're working with different forms or a different version than what these instructions were created for. Another great option is to simply copy and paste.

Find resume marked the way that you want to use it and simple copy it from one place and paste is right into the new location you want to see it.

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Get our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free. No email required.

Grab the PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Share

Help us by spreading the word