Is it a resume, resumé, or résumé?

Why do we even care?

Firstly, all professional documents should be devoid of errors and mistakes. It makes for a good first impression. Secondly, the recruiter could be a grammar pedant. They could ask you about the usage of the resume accent.

So, it is important to use the correct spelling while drafting professional documents. Read our guide to know which spelling to use.

Origins of the Word ‘Résumé’

The word résumé(with accent marks) is derived from the French verb ‘resumer’, meaning to ‘sum up’. Therefore, it means summarizing information.

In American English, a résumé is a professional document containing a summary of past professional and educational qualifications. The pronunciation of résumé is different from ‘resume’, which means something else, due to the presence of an accent.

Also Read: How to draft a resume?

What Is the Resume Accent?

Does the word resume have a hyphen? What is that symbol above ‘e’? How do you put the e in resume?

Usually, when a word is borrowed from the French language, it comes with an accent. For instance, déjà vu, vis-à-vis, etc. Accents are symbols that change the stress or sound of an alphabet.

The accent guides the pronunciation of the vowel. So, résumé pronunciation is ‘re-zoom-ey’ and not ‘re-zoom’. The accent signals pronounce the vowel ‘e’ as ‘ey’. Therefore, only the accentuated e’s carry that sound.

Accents are not just phonetically essential, but can also change the meaning of the word. ‘Résumé’ and ‘resume’ are a case in point.

Also Read: How to draft a CV?

How to Spell Resume: Résumé, Resumé, or Resume?

Historically speaking, the English language has not been consistent with the usage of accents. For instance, ‘hôtel’ is simply written as a hotel. Accents, thus, are no linguistic obligations.

Hence, ‘resume’ can be spelled with or without accents, and résumé, resumé, and resume are all accepted ways of spelling a resume.

Dictionary Definitions

If you refer to the popular dictionaries and style guides for further help, here is what you will find:

Let’s see what the style guides have to suggest regarding which spelling to use in written communication:

  • The Associated Press Stylebook: Earlier, AP Stylebook strictly avoided using accents, but in the latest revision, limited usage of accents is allowed. They can be used in the names of people who request it and when words are directly quoted from other languages. So, ‘résumé’ is allowed, but in regular usage, ‘resume’ is widely used.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style: It relies on popular dictionaries such as Merriam Webster. If the dictionaries use ‘résumé’, then it can be used.

Also Read: How to write a cover letter?

When to Use Resume with Accents?

Linguistically, résumé, resumé, and resume can be used interchangeably. Recruiters can thus use any of these spellings in the job descriptions. But resumé is the least used version of the spelling. It is more of an evolved form and does not find its roots in the French language.

‘Résumé’ and ‘resume’, on the other hand, are used more often. However, the English language does not have accents as such. So, ‘resume’ is the appropriate way of spelling it.

‘Resume’ is also widely used by recruiters. This is likely to happen since ‘resume’ is easier to type without the accents.

Still, there is a con to using ‘resume’ in documents. It leads the reader to entirely depend on the context as it runs the risk of being confused with the verb form of resume, meaning to begin again after an interruption.

In conclusion, it would be your personal choice to choose from either ‘résumé’ or ‘resume’.

Hiration pro tip:
Take cues from the job description and use their choice of spelling in the documents you send across while applying.

Also Read: What tips to follow while writing a resume?

How to Spell Resume with Accents?

Diacritical marks or accents are symbols used in letters for various reasons. They can be used to:

  • Stress a syllable
  • Depict short or long vowel
  • Separate homographs (words with the same spelling but different meanings)

The alphabet ‘e’ can be accentuated in four ways, which are:

  • Acute Accent: é, as in café
  • Grave Accent: è, as in crème de la crème
  • Circumflex Accent: ê, as in coup de grâce
  • Diaeresis Accent: ë, as in naïve

In the spellings ‘résumé’ and ‘resumé’, an acute accent is used. There are rules to using the accent correctly. If the accent is not placed right or an incorrect accent is used, it can change the meaning or sound of the word.

Practice this:
  • résumé
  • resumé
  • resumé
Avoid this:
  • rèsumè
  • resumè
  • résume

Make sure to be careful while typing these spellings out.

Also Read: Basic Resume Templates

How to Type Resume with Accents?

If you are inclined to use the spelling ‘résumé’, then learn to type IT. We have summarized below the process to type ‘résumé’ and ‘resumé’ on various platforms and devices:

Copy and Paste Method

You could always copy and paste the accented letter from a reliable source online. Search for ‘acute accent ‘e’’ on your browser and directly copy from your browser. Another way would be to search for the required word on your browser and copy it from there. This is a rather quick way to use accented letters.

Microsoft Word

  • Press the Alt key
  • Type ‘0233’ while holding down the Alt key


  • Press the Control key
  • Press the apostrophe while holding down the Control key
  • Release the apostrophe key
  • Press ‘e’ while holding down the Control key


  • Go to the ‘Insert’ menu on the ribbon
  • Select ‘Symbols’ from the drop-down menu
  • Select ‘More Symbols’ from the drop-down menu
  • Choose ‘Latin-1’ Supplement
  • Select acute accent from the menu


  • Press the Option key and ‘e’
  • Release the Option key
  • Tap ‘e’ again

Google Docs

  • Go to the ‘Insert’ Menu on the Toolbar
  • Select ‘Special Characters’ from the menu
  • Choose ‘Latin’ and double click on ‘é’ from the options

Also Read: What skills to put on a resume?

Key Takeaways

A definitive answer to which spelling is favorable and shall be used is not available. Linguistically, all three forms, resume, resumé, or résumé, are accepted and grammatically correct.
It is only with continuous and evolved use that ‘resume’ and ‘résumé’ are used in written communications.
Keep the following in mind while preparing professional documents:

  • Make sure to use the spelling used by recruiters in job portals and Job descriptions.
  • Remember to keep your chosen spelling consistent throughout the documents.
  • If you wish to use ‘résumé’ spelling, then use the correct accent when typing.
  • Proofread documents before sending them.

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