How Do You Spell Resume? (And Can I Call It a CV?) – Let’s Eat, Grandma

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An image of an academic in a cap and gown, next to an image of a businessman in a professional suit (who would use a resume, not a CV).

Resume? Résumé? Resumé? Definitely not “resamay”, right? You’ve seen a lot of spellings of this word, so which one is right? And what about CV? Read on to find out how to spell resume.

By: Katelyn Skye Bennett | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma


Picture yourself with a laptop, composing an email for a job application. You want to tell the employer which documents you’ve attached, but suddenly you freeze. “Cover letter” is easy enough to spell, but what about the other document?

Is it spelled résumé, resumé, or just resume?

Impressing this company is important to you, and you don’t want to slip up by misspelling a seven letter word! Thankfully, being thorough is one of your strengths, so you’re here doing a little research.

Is this word going to make or break your chances? 

The Correct Way to Spell Resume (or is it Résumé?)

Allow us to alleviate your stress. We help people build these documents every day, and we want to see you succeed as well.

Here’s your answer: 

Both the fully accented and unaccented versions, “résumé” and “resume”, are equally popular and valid spellings of the term, according to Merriam Webster.

Resumé with the acute accent just over the last e is technically correct, but it’s less common and not recommended. 

Never accent only the first e (résume), as that is always wrong.

Since the unaccented spelling of “resume” is 100 percent acceptable, we suggest saving yourself some time, effort, and potential confusion by using that version. 

Instead of searching your word processor’s special symbols for an acute accent or copy and pasting the accented spelling from the internet, focus on the content of your resume. (Like crafting great bullet points, writing a solid summary, and using powerful language. Just click any of those links for help.)

Still curious about the origin of “resume”? The word résumé was originally French for “summary,” (hence the accent marks). In the 1940s, Americans adapted it to mean the document that lists your work experience. 

Over time, the Americanized, unaccented spelling gained popularity and acceptance, and it now refers specifically to the document (unless you’re using it as a verb to tell someone to resume something!)

Can’t I just call it a CV?

No!

France itself actually uses the term curriculum vitae (CV, for short) to mean what we call a resume; “CV” and “resume” are used interchangeably across Europe and New Zealand. In the United States, however, there is a key difference between a CV and a resume.

An image of an academic in a cap and gown, next to an image of a businessman in a professional suit (who would use a resume, not a CV).
A CV in the United States refers to a document used to apply for academic jobs, which is different from a resume.

This may be news to you, so let’s take a quick moment to talk about it.

If you’re new to the American workforce, maybe you’ve used the term CV to mean resume. In many countries, that would be correct. But in the U.S., a resume is a short document describing your work experience, while a CV is a document used specifically for academic roles. 

American CVs are longer, more complete documents that can span multiple pages; they include academic achievements and papers published in addition to work experience. You might submit a CV to apply for graduate school or a research position, but not for an office job. They are formatted differently and used much less frequently than resumes.

Don’t refer to your resume as a CV. While the accents in the spelling of resume are optional, calling a resume a CV would actually be inaccurate in the U.S. Just label your resume a resume and impress the hiring manager with what’s on it!


So you know how to spell resume, but you’re still not sure how to write one? Let’s Eat, Grandma is here to help. Submit your professional resume (not your CV!) over on our homepage for a FREE Career Score. Find out how our business writing experts can help you land your next job. 

And for more tips and tricks on anything related to resumes, cover letters, or your job search, check out the wealth of advice on our blog and Career Warrior Podcast.

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