How to Spell “Resume” – Résumé, Resumé, or No Accent?

Resume Help

The spelling of “resume” can indeed be a bit confusing, and it often leads to questions about whether to use accents or not. Here’s some information to clarify this matter:

  1. Origin of the Word

  2. Spelling According to Dictionaries

  3. The Final Verdict

In summary, if you’re writing in American English, use “resume” without accents. In British English, both “résumé” and “resume” are acceptable, but “resume” without accents is more common. Ultimately, consistency is key, so choose one spelling and stick with it throughout your document.

How to Spell “Resume” – Dictionary Definition

The word “résumé” has French origins, featuring accents on both “e”s and means “summary.” However, it is infrequently used for this purpose in France and much of Europe, where “CV” (curriculum vitae) is preferred. In the United States, there are variations in usage.

In brief, the term comes from French with accents, but it’s seldom employed that way in France.

So, what’s the correct way to use it globally?

Let’s consult popular dictionaries:

– Oxford Advanced American Dictionary: Suggests “résumé” with two accents but also lists “resumé” and “resume” as valid options.
– Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Lists “résumé” as the primary choice but mentions “resumé” and notes it as less common.
– Cambridge Dictionary: Recommends “résumé” but also accepts “resume” as an equivalent noun, without mentioning “resumé.”
– Wiktionary: Considers all three spellings interchangeable but explains the preference for “resume” in the US due to English’s general avoidance of accents.

Regarding accents, the AP Stylebook has relaxed its stance. Accents may be used when requested by individuals or when quoting directly from a foreign language. Thus, if context necessitates it, “résumé” is acceptable, but “resume” is typically more suitable in regular use. The Chicago Manual of Style follows dictionary guidance, so if a dictionary allows accents, they can be used in language as well.

In conclusion, the “resumé” spelling is not commonly favored. You can choose to use both accents (“résumé”) or none at all (“resume”).

Résumé, Resumé, or Resume? Which One Is It?

When it comes to choosing between “résumé” and “resume,” both spellings have their merits and contexts where they are appropriate. Here’s a breakdown of the cases for and against each:

Certainly, here’s a simplified version:


– Using both accents is technically correct and aligns with the original French spelling.
– This form distinguishes the noun from the verb “resume.”
– However, outside of academic and formal contexts, it can come across as pretentious because it’s rarely used in everyday writing.


– The version without accents is the most commonly used, especially in informal settings.
– It follows English language conventions of simplifying foreign words.
– The downside is that it might occasionally be mistaken for the verb “resume,” but it’s generally the more widely accepted and practical spelling.

Key Takeaways

  1. No Definitive Answer: The resume spelling dilemma has no clear-cut answer, but this article aims to provide clarity on the issue and its various scenarios.

  2. Dictionary Preferences: Among dictionaries, “resumé” is the least favored spelling, while “resume” and “résumé” are often listed as interchangeable.

  3. Grammatical Correctness: While “résumé” is grammatically correct, reflecting the word’s French origins, “resume” adheres to English language rules and is the most commonly used form.

  4. Context Matters: To navigate the spelling issue effectively, consider the context. If in doubt, check how recruiters or employers spelled the word in their job postings and follow their lead.

  5. Bonne Chance! (Good luck!) In the end, the choice of spelling may depend on personal preference, context, and the conventions of the industry or region you are in.