Help choosing the LoR author profiles

Hello and thanks for creating such a helpful community

I am seeking for any recommendations about my LoR referer profiles. I have several options now and I’m struggling to choose which three are better, because they all have their pros and cons.
For context, I am willing to get the exceptional talent endorsement. My profile is (long story short) head of software engineering function in a big product-led company with some external activities (like talks, mentoring, education etc). So I will go for exceptional talent in tech with OC2 and OC3. I am also going to post my case later here at the forum for some review.

My LoR options are:

  1. CTO in my company (I think this one is obvious and I definetely go with this one). He will tell about my leading role in the company, projects they know about and also confirm some out-of-work activity

  2. Staff SRE engineer from Google.
    My doubt here is that he does not have loud public profile (some public talks and great leading experience though)

  3. CTO and co-founder of German technological startup.
    The main struggle here is that his company is not only product-led. They have some own products, but they are often helping other startups to launch, using those products and infrastructure. Also I am not sure about this person’s public activities.

  4. CEO & Founder of sport programming school, who is ICFPC (internation programming contest) bronze medalist, who has coached three ICFPC medalist-teams and also PhD in computer science. So he is apparently a leader and exceptional specialist, however he is not a representative of some technological product-led organization.

  5. Founder and managing partner of software managing school. This person has really great public profile (e.g. he’s author of some popular managing books, and recognisable for his expertise), but the company is not technological and product-led

  6. Finally, the CEO of German product-startup. The downside here is that he also has worked in my company earlier, and the launch of this startup was somehow affiliated with my company (it has invested into the startup). So I don’t know if this kind of setup is okay for TechNation.

Please assume that all of them know me and my work for a neccessary period, and they will write about my achievements, projects and also mention my out-of-work activities that they know about.

I personally feel like better going with 1,2&3 or 1,2&4
Who do you suggest me to choose?
And what can you tell about my doubts in those cases — maybe they won’t be a problem?

@Francisca_Chiedu @Maya @alex_james @Bubun @alexnk @goonjanmall @May @femibiwoye @oluwabig and others, would appreciate your time and any response very much :pray:

To help your decision making, your LoRs don’t necessarily have to be from product-led organisations but senior experts in digital technology sector. If you can, avoid track record only around consulting and outsourcing firms.

A strong public profile will be valuable as Tech Nation do request that you include their LinkedIn profile, which means it’ll be considered.

I’ll recommend you have just one recommender you have directly worked with in the same organization and others as external experts who know your work, as you’re expected to have a rich network of experts beyond your immediate or past occupation.

@denisfomin From the Tech Nation guideline Tech Nation Visa Guide - Tech Nation, it says that the referer may need to be “experts in the digital technology field”.

The definition of The “digital technology sector” or “product-led digital technology companies” are defined as businesses that provide a proprietary digital technical service/product/platform/hardware as their primary revenue source.

Advice #1: So I am not really sure about #3 and #4 which they are not in the field currently. However do any of them were in the digital-tech sector in their career before, it could potentially use the period that the person to state that they know your work and achievements.

Advice #2: The Referrer #6 could also be good if the person can provide a different angle and time period than referrer #1.

@May, @alexnk, huge thanks for your feedback!

I think I can see some contradiction here: @May wrote that it’s not necessary for the expert to be in a product-led organization, but @alexnk said that according to the guide it is necessary. I also confused about this, because guide explicitly gives the definition of the “digital sector”. At the same time in the LoR-section it is written about not about “sector” but about “experts in digital field” which has no formal definition in the guide

Besides that, I saw several successful endorsements here at the forum, in which LoRs was written by e.g. professors of computer science, who work only in some university, and do not have relation to any product-led organization.

To sum up, I am still confused :upside_down_face:

Don’t be confused. It is important to get recognised experts in the digital technology sector with strong public profile. I believe most people use experts working in product-led companies because of emphasis on product-led in the guide. However, be mindful about using people are are mostly consultants with limited public mentions.

1 Like

@Francisca_Chiedu, thank you a lot
So I could use any of the experts, if they are somehow occupied in digital tech (not necessarily product-led, but in senior positions) and who really would be considered as experts, not regular guys, right?

And, considering my examples, all of the experts might be suitable?

I would go for experts who know my work for more than 12 months. Someone who can write extensively about my achievement and why I should be endorsed.

Yes, all of them are compatible with that description

If I may add to the conversation, if it all be of help, this is just an advice not instruction:

  1. Use C-level executives, as they are perceived to have had a lot of experience and influence, that may rule option 2 out. Ensure these people have good LinkedIn profiles that show their experiences and if you type their name on Google you can see few links recognising them as a leader too.

  2. Having said the above, if one of your optional criteria is impact (talking about how much work you added to a product-led organisation i.e. your company or a digital product), then I will use my CTO’s letter as part of that criteria, which removes Option 1. Then use Option 3, 4 and 6!

Again, this is not expert instruction, just advise based on experience. Cheers!

1 Like

@tundeph, thank you, I appreciate your comment much

This is a good suggestion to check their public profile on Google. But is it really that important for all of my recommenders to have a strong profile? I’m asking because my choice now is pretty between C-level executive (like 3 or 6) who does not have much when you google them, or somebody with public activity but not a C-level though. In your opinion, which is better — C-level without public info or vice versa?

Or if I manage to find another people with stronger public profile, not C-level but Head of IT department or Head of QA or something, would it be appropriate?

I think you should not be too stuck on how much public profile a high-level person has. For them to be high-level, they or their work will be popular or easily recognisable. They can use their letter to also talk about who they are and their LinkedIn profile will do the rest. According to the Technation guidelines, if you read in between the lines, there is somewhere that states the person should say who they are, here they can use the opportunity to talk about themselves and their work. Does not have to be someone on the front of the newspaper every week. For example, someone that is not so popular but the CTO of a very popular/impactful start-up (that is easily findable) qualifies as having a strong profile too.

Head of IT and Head of QA somewhere is also good, are they really recognised as a leader? Being out there in the media is slightly different from being perceived as a leader in same field. Also would the Head of QA be able to use their company letterhead to write a letter for you?
Everything is basically tied to having believable, strong evidence from someone recognised as a leader.