Is it ok to include/append pictures to Reference Letters?

What are your thoughts on appending additional pictorial evidence to reference letters that are less than 3 pages? The additional pictures provide some more evidence on what the reference letter is about.

So instead of submitting the reference letter about “A” and then another document with pictures about “A”. I am thinking of appending the pictures about “A” in the reference letter about “A” that is less than 3 pages. Would this cause any issues with TN for appending stuff to reference letters written for me?

My main motivation for wanting to do this is that it will allow me to submit more evidence about different things/events for each criteria (MC and OC). What are your thoughts? @Francisca_Chiedu @Savvkin @sharath_natraj @mfilippov @Alex_P @Shreeniwas_Iyer

To the best of my knowledge:

  1. Recommendation letters should remain what it is: “a recommendation letter”
  2. The letter doesn’t have to be 3 pages long (confirmed this from someone who just got endorsed).

Lastly, if you’re concerned about the scantiness, the best way out is to draft all the letters and simply send them to your recommenders to append their signatures and letterhead. It makes things a lot easier.

NB: I’m only saying the above based on what I’ve read on this forum following other members’ posts. I’m not writing for Tech Nation.

Thanks for responding @4rmSlum2uk. I am referring to the “Reference Letters” not the mandatory “Recommendation Letters”. Recommendation letters can be up to 3 pages (or less) and come with the author’s CV. Not talking about these letters.

The reference letters one can use to support their 10 pieces of evidence. The scantiness of the reference letters is not a concern. Rather trying to see if there is an opportunity to include additional evidence in the form of pictures to reference letters so that way I can have more slots left out of 10 to submit different types of evidences.

If doing this will be a problem then the alternative question will be: is it ok to submit a reference letter for activity “A” and also submit another document with pictures of activity “A” as second peice of evidence?

I don’t see anything wrong in appending pictures to a reference letter. I think it will make sense if any additional evidence you are adding to it confirms what is in the reference letter. If it is unrelated, you might end up confusing the assesors. I also think that there is somewhere in the tech nation guide that discourages unrelated evidence. I will check and update my response.

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Thanks for your response @Francisca_Chiedu. The pictures I plan to attach are totally related to the content of the reference letter itself. I agree that it will be counterproductive to include pictures of something else.

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As far as I understand your goal, it’s something that Tech Nation actually actively advises not to do:

Note: Whilst you can use multiple documents to support each criteria, each document must only contain a single piece of related evidence.
(this is available in EVIDENCE FILES section in the application form)

The way this reads to me is that whilst one piece of evidence can support multiple criteria, you shouldn’t have multiple evidence “cases” inside one file.

So all in all, don’t try to cram the absolute possible maximum evidence - do quality over quantity and show relevant, strong and compelling evidence

Thanks @MNeverOff for your response.

Yes same understanding I get from the note you shared.

It isn’t what I plan to do though. I am NOT trying to have multiple evidence “cases” inside one file. Here is an example: I was a mentor at a structured mentorship programme. I got a letter of reference from the organisers (2 pages long). I want to add pictures of me mentoring at the event and a picture of the schedule with my name on 1 page. Thus making “a single piece of related evidence” (3 pages), reference letter on first 2 pages and pictures of same thing in reference letter on 1 page. This sounds like quality to me. Think the same?

It’s tough really, given that recommendation letter isn’t technically an “evidence” type of file, it’s more of an overarching different type.

Personally, I would expend one evidence file to highlight your work on the mentorship program. The only information I have attached to the reference letters and think is acceptable (and what I’ve put myself) is:

  • letter itself
  • CV of the referrer
  • Proof of credentials of the referrer (conference papers, acknowledgements, etc, etc)

Anything else that pertains to you, I feel, would go into evidence files. But then again, it’s your choice, but I’d advise against it

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If I get you right @MNeverOff, you seem to be talking about the recommendation letters of which applicants MUST provide 3 and are not part of the 10 pieces of evidence. I am not talking about those recommendation letters rather the ones I am calling reference letters which can be submitted as evidence themselves but TN says such letters alone are not sufficient.

Sorry, I must’ve misunderstood then. In that case I feel like that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do!

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I included imagery in the form of: screenshots of press clippings, as well as charts/graphs/dashboard screenshots that support what was highlighted in the evidence reference letters. For example, if my reference letter was two pages long, I used the additional page to share the above.

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Thanks for your response @mclarenf1. This is helpful.

@westside - I made a 3 page document for my supporting evidences and included the reference letter as a screenshot. So its not like adding something to the reference letter itself but making a good story out of the evidence and reinforce that story using pictures, media references, architecture diagrams , reference letters etc.

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