Since getting endorsed by Tech Nation as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent” in digital technology and then creating content about the process, guides and steps to take in order to get endorsed, I have been receiving loads of messages and emails from people around the world. Some of them are qualified and I can tell by the questions they ask or the documents they send me while some of them are not, I can tell this instantly from the types of questions they ask or the little information they tell me about themselves.
Regardless of my opinion or view of their situation, I always give in-depth replies because I have once been in the shoes of someone who wasn’t endorsed and wanted to be, I know how it feels. Even though I blog about the Tech Nation Visa endorsement, it is important to note that the Exceptional Talent Visa is not limited to only Tech candidates. People in Science, Engineering, Humanities, Medicine, Digital Technology and The Arts / Fashion can also get endorsed. (I only talk more about the tech nation visa because that is the field I have experience in.) As funny as it may sound, It’s kind of hard to prepare yourself or your profile to eventually qualify to be able to apply or even get endorsed.
Why do I say this? Well, the reason is because when I wanted to apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, it was until then I started to realize that I had what it takes (in terms of credentials and experience) to apply and possibly get endorsed. Let me explain further.
So, in order to get endorsed as a World Leading Exceptional Talent in your field, you need to show a track record of innovation, work done and advancement you have brought or your work has brought to the industry you are trying to get endorsed under. The keyword there is “track record”. However, in this post, I am going to give you some hints and guide on how to prepare yourself and your professional profile in order to eventually be able to apply and possibly get endorsed as a world leading exceptional talent in your field.
My Endorsement Process.
In order to get endorsed, I spent a lot of time putting together the documents and evidences I needed to add to my application. During this time of document/evidence gathering, I started to realize some things I did years ago that could be used or converted into a supporting document. These things I did years ago were done without me knowing that they would be relevant in the future. Some of the examples are:
- Document showing my digital startups. (When I started my startups or acted as a tech co-founder to other startups I used as evidence in my application, I was just being a creative and doing my thing, I never knew I would use them as evidence in the future)
- Certificates showing continuous learning. (When I decided to pay thousands of pounds to get a Masters in Business Information Systems Management and also enroll on other Tech related courses, I never knew that I would be able to use the certificates in the future)
- Mentorship and Thought-Leader Posts and Videos (When I picked up the camera in 2016 to shoot my first Youtube Video talking about Business Strategies, Business Intelligence, SCRUM and the likes and going further to write blogposts on business and tech related topics, I never knew this would play a role or act as evidence in the future)
- Recommendation Letters (When I worked with businesses and Tech Leaders in building Web applications and websites or using my skills to scale their businesses, I never knew that all these people’s testimony would be needed and used in the future to show my impact in the field)
- and lots more!
All these things were not planned, they were just things I did and then was able to put together as documents / evidences to apply and get endorsed as a World Leading Exceptional Talent In Digital Technology. Putting these documents together made me realize that the best thing to do as a creative is to keep creating, keep innovating, keep volunteering, keep executing ideas, keep contributing because you never know what all those things will amount to and you never know what roles your work and impact will bring to your future. Even though I did not plan or prepare myself to get endorsed years before I got endorsed, if you are reading this – you are lucky because you can start creating or manufacturing your own track record.
How can you do this?
How to Build Your “Track Record” or Profile.
If you are interested in the exceptional talent visa and endorsement you should already have gone through the guideline on what type of skills, documents and/or evidences are required. With this information, You can start creating things around what they are looking for in order to warm up your profile for the endorsement process.
1. Start Creating (Keep Creating).
Remember that the keyword to a successful application is showing “track record”, your documents or evidences need to show that you’ve been active within the space for a while and that you are not just someone who created an app or website 2 months ago and wants to apply for Tech Nation visa 2 months later, that does not show a solid track record.
As a creative or exceptional talent that you think you are, you should always be creating and executing your ideas. Instead of sitting on many ideas, execute them! Ideas are easy and cheap, anyone can have them but a solid executed one is rare because people rarely take action. Also, remember that documents or evidences that you will make use of are actually projects that are live, you cannot provide an “idea” as a document or evidence.
The most interesting thing is that the project or projects do not need to super successful or even 100% fully done but they need to be active as this shows progress and creates a reputable record you can make use of as a form of evidence or document.
2. Build Meaningful Relationships.
Remember that no matter how skilled you are or claim to be, you will only get endorsed if your application contains letters of recommendations from thought leaders within your space who run businesses that are reputable and have a national/international presence.
So, in order to get these recommendation letters, you need to build relationships with people of that caliber. If you have to work for free or volunteer or even undercharge just so you can have thought leaders see your work or have a taste of your skill-set, do that! One of the strongest recommendation letters I used in my application process was a letter from my professor in Middlesex University. He was my lecturer in one of my modules, this man has so many qualifications that in order to list out his qualifications, it would take about 3-4 lines of text.
Just like other students, I was attentive in class, contributed as well but I went a step further – I wanted to have a professional / personal relationship with him because I could see myself in him. He’s young, educated and a very fun person. So, when he asked the class if anyone would be interested in creating a website for a government body he is chairman of but that it would be for free, I volunteered because I knew this will foster a personal relationship with him and I would be able to create a project that can be added to my portfolio. The project ended up being a website for an European Tech Body in which he is chairman of.
I worked on the website for free and even sometimes had to travel from East London to North London to have a sit down with him to work on the project. When working on the project, my aim was to create something outstanding so that he could see my skill-set outside of the classroom and we could work together in the future. I never knew the project and his recommendation would be instrumental in my Tech Nation exceptional talent application years down the line.
So, when I reached out to him about him writing a recommendation letter for my application, he went above and beyond for me! The same goes for my other letters, they were not just from random people. They were from people who I have worked with on projects where I went above and beyond for. That’s the power of creating meaningful relationships.
3. Keep Learning.
One of the key things you can make use of in your application for the exceptional talent visa is proof of continuous learning. This can be a bonus because its very easy to show. All you have to do is ensure that you never feel satisfied with the current information or knowledge you have, you should always be yearning for new information within your space.
Even though my first introduction to tech was through WordPress web design, I have since grown from that. I have improved my skills and knowledge in fields such as Business Strategies and Architecture, Programming languages and other Tech related topics and I have certificates to show for all this.
These certificates will play a key role in your application to show that you are indeed an exceptional talent due to your continuous learning track record. So, get on that course, get that Masters or PHD if you want to. Just do whatever it takes to keep learning and expanding your knowledge within your field and space.
4. Keep Records (Don’t Burn Bridges).
Ensure that you keep record of everything you are doing. Keep certificates, keep screenshots, keep emails, keep links, keep documents and most importantly keep people, do not burn bridges because you never know – you might need the bridge to come back and also you can’t even walk on water.
Gathering my documents and putting them together for my application was fun because I was really amazed how I could think of a document and instantly be able to find it in a folder on my computer or an email thread. There’s nothing as bad as knowing you have something very valuable but not being able to find it. So, ensure as you are creating your track record, you also keep records of your tracks.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and valuable in some capacity. The aim of the post is to enlighten you on how to look at the Exceptional Talent Visa endorsement and prepare for it accordingly. I have more information on the Exceptional Talent Visa and you can check that out from my dedicated category here Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. (am proud to say that my blog has the most helpful information and content about the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa endorsement on the internet)
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