What is the F-pattern Resume?

The F-pattern Resume is becoming increasingly popular, especially due to its focus on drawing recruiters’ attention, with the F standing for fats.

Recruiters of today, don’t have much time to review applications and they have to go through tons of applications. An F-pattern resume will make a difference. In a few seconds, a resume that follows its design principles will make you stand out. The idea is that within a few seconds, the eyes of a recruiter go through an applicant.

The pattern was popularized by a study by NNGroup, which recorded more than 200 users looked at thousands of web pages and found that users’ primary reading behavior was fairly consistent.

  • First, users read in a horizontal movement. Usually, this is across the upper part of the content area. This element forms the F’s top bar.
  • Next, they scan a vertical line down the left side of the screen. Typically, users are looking for points of interest in the paragraph’s initial sentences. When they find something interesting they read across in a second horizontal movement. Typically, this activity covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This second element forms the F’s lower bar.
  • Finally, users scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement.

Our eyes are trained to start at the top-left corner, scan horizontally, then drop down to the next line and do the same until we find something of interest. Obviously, users’ scan patterns are not always comprised of exactly three parts. When readers find something they like, they begin reading normally, forming horizontal lines.

Why is it important?

The F-shaped pattern will help you create a design with a good visual hierarchy, a design that can easily be scanned. The F-shaped layout feels comfortable for most western readers because they have been reading top to bottom, left to right for their entire lives. The F-pattern is the go-to layout for text-heavy artifacts, such as cover letters and CVs. If there is a lot of text content, users will respond better.

How to use the F-pattern?

  • Prioritize – Know what you want your recruiters to see!
  • Set expectations – The first two paragraphs are the most important. Place the most important content near the top!
  • Design for scanning – When applying the F-pattern, think scanners. Start paragraphs with enticing keywords, give more visual weight to things that matter, cover only one idea per paragraph, and use bullets as much as possible.

To sum it up

The F-shapen pattern follows the common trends of the human eye, but it’s not a template, it’s merely a guideline. Using this pattern as a guide to arrange your CV and Cover Letter, can help you make strategic choices about what to emphasize and where to place it.