We debunk the correct spelling of resume – the one you use to apply for a job. Is it résumé, resume, or resumé?
Are you in the middle of applying for jobs and find yourself second guessing whether you’re spelling the term correctly?
Let’s quickly set the matter straight so that you can, well, resume applying!
We’ll take a look at what three of the top dictionaries have to say and provide our take on the matter.
How do you spell resume, according to the dictionary?
The verb “resume,” which refers to the continuation of an activity, is always spelled without an accent.
The noun, which refers to the document you use to apply for jobs, has multiple variations.
Dictionary.com defines resume as “a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.”
As shown below, the primary spelling provided is simply resume, with the accented versions of résumé and "sometimes resumé" as alternatives:
Merriam-Webster dictionary, on the other hand, lists résumé as the primary entry with alternative variants of “resume or less commonly resumé.”
Cambridge Dictionary only lists the accented spelling, résumé.
To clarify, Cambridge Dictionary’s note that the equivalent of a US resume in the UK is a “curriciulum vitae,” or CV, is correct.
In the US, however, a CV generally refers to an academic CV, which is much more comprehensive than a resume.
What is the correct spelling to use?
While some resume writers have a habit of writing résumé with the accents included, we like to stick to the unaccented version: resume.
Most skilled and experienced readers will know exactly what you are referring to based on context.
If you send your resume to a recruiter, you can rest assured that they won’t dismiss your application or question your intelligence if you include a note saying that, “I attached my resume for your review.”
On the other hand, the accented version – though technically correct – may leave a slight hint of pretension, in our opinion.
About Resume Pilots
Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing, career coaching, and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
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