How to Spell the Word "Resume" [2020 Updated]
Knowing the correct spelling for the word ‘resume’ can make a lasting impression on your employer. If you spell it résumé, does it look snobby? How does the employer read that? Are there certain resume’s where this is an appropriate way to format the word?
Let’s jump right into understanding the spelling for this word.
What you’re going to learn in this guide:
- Understand the various ways that this word is spelled.
- Understand the AP style, Webster’s Dictionary style, and formal way to spell the word.
- Understand what is the most popular method to use the traditional “resume” spelling.
- Understand where and when to use various ways of spelling this resume, the word.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Ways of Spelling the Word “Resume”
There are three potential ways to spell the word:
- Resume: This is the most common, popular way to format the word. It is considered common English. But it is not necessarily the correct way to spell the word if you’re looking at AP Style or how the word is spelled in the Webster’s Dictionary.
- Resumé: The accent mark is on the last “e” as part of the word. This is a closer, more European way of spelling the word. And while it is more closely related to how the word is pronounced, it is also not entirely correct. This is not how the word is spelled in the United States or in Canada.
- Résumé: This is the formal way to spell the word, as defined by AP Style as well as the Webster’s Dictionary. Though, this is not how you may decide to use the word for your own practical uses.
When to Use “Résumé”
There is only one situation where I recommend using this format. And that is if you’re applying to a job as a professional writer, editor, or someone who is part of editorial staff.
The reason is that this shows that you have an understanding of the correct English way to use the word. And it may seem slightly snobby when using this format in any other type of resume or cover letter.
But if you’re applying for editorial staff positions, this could help to show that you have incredible writing skills and are displaying that.
Aside from that, I would recommend not using this format for your CV, cover letter, or resume. The reason? It can seem like you’re attempting to be a writing snob.
The best cover letters and resumes are ones that speak from your heart and show your skills through previous work experience and performance. Not those that are attempting to show off certain merits or skills too heavily.
Lastly, if the job description lists exceptional writing skills as part of their desired qualities, then you may want to consider using the format “résumé” — that may be the only time and place where it is acceptable to use this format.
Make your best judgment call by reading between the lines of the online job posting. Try to position yourself as unique but relatable.
Is It Acceptable to Use “Resume”, “Résumé” and “Resumé”
All forms of the word resume, formatted like this, are acceptable. Though, consider how your reader will respond to the way they are reading the word.
Have they seen the word spelled like that most commonly? Will they be questioning whether or not you are spelling the word correctly? Or will they feel like they often misspell the word?
All in all, that can distract the reader away from what’s important, and that’s reading your email, reading your cover letter or reading your resume.
If you had to rate which format to use most commonly it would be:
- 1. Resume
- 2. Resumé
- 3. Résumé
With the most common way simply being “resume”, much like you read in the headline of this very guide.
Resume Spelling FAQ
Questions about grammar, spelling mistakes, and proper spelling of the word "resume".
When should I use the resume accent?
You don't need to. But if you'd like to, you should use it when applying for English writing positions or positions where proper grammar is very important to the role.
What will my hiring manager expect to see in terms of spelling?
A hiring manager and recruiter will see "resume" as the correct spelling format.
What are homophones?
Resume can be one of those works since the verb resume can mean something different than the noun resume. A homophone is described as each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling.
As a job seeker, how should I spell resume on my chronological resume?
As "resume", it's generally unnecessary to use the resume accent mark and it is not considered one of the grammar mistakes that can persist on your resume. Same goes for a curriculum vitae.
How can I avoid making other spelling error and grammar mistakes?
Use spell check (or spell checker) and have a friend who is willing to go through the proofreading process with you. They'll look for other mistakes that can easily be avoided. Using correct grammar, present tense, and generally "good" English is a basic requirement when writing your resume. It is one of the biggest resume mistakes you can make, simply not looking over what you wrote and trying to improve the clarity of how you pitch yourself in your job search. An effective resume is short, impactful, and uses metrics instead of words to describe the professional. Put simply, catching a typo can be impactful to your job hunt.
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