Please help review my Application for Exceptional Promise

Hi everyone, please I need advice on my application. I’ve been putting my application and evidence together now for a month and I’m about to submit but I need help reviewing it. So I’m an iOS Software Engineer. I work for two companies. One was formerly a consultant which then rebranded into a Tech company (I got hired during the rebrand). The other is a startup. Both companies own their products and have the copyright on the Apple AppStore all developed by me.

  1. My personal statement talked about my background and how I fell in love with Apple devices and learnt iOS Development to get useful apps to the hands of millions. Also it talks about my tech experience, publications, and how I’ll improve the UK economy.

  2. My letters of recommendation are from a Senior Software Engineer in Amazon who I went to University with, a Software Engineer in Microsoft who I worked with in the past, and An Associate Manager at Tesla working on computer vision systems and robotic lines, who I also went to University with. Are these sufficient?

  3. For my mandatory criteria I included my employment contract for my full time job showing my salary, I included my salary breakdown with screenshots and a link to more screenshots of bank statements and explained how it’s high compared to the minimum wage and average salary in Nigeria. I also included other benefits I get like health insurance. Because the company rebranded from being a consultant I included another document showing pictures and links to all the products they own on the Apple AppStore and Google Play Store, which makes them a product led tech company because their website and LinkedIn are yet to be updated from consultant so I felt the need to add this document to prove their ownership of products. Lastly I included a document that shows leading the growth of a company by showing the Application mentioned in the news and its impression statistics on the Apple App Store. I also showed a screenshot of the AppStore dashboard account which shows the company name as the owner and me as the sole iOS developer in the company.

  4. For OC1 I showed pictures and group chat discussions with other engineers in the company and screenshots of my code on bitbucket and the figma designs for the app. I also showed my work ID. Then I showed news clippings proving that it was the first app created in Nigeria that does what it does which counts as innovation. I used the same app as an example for MC1 and OC1 since they both satisfy the criteria of leading the growth and innovating a product, but I submitted separate documents to prove that.

  5. For OC3 I submitted evidence of my contract with the start up which showed the compensation for building the App, I also showed the app award it won on the news and other news mentioning it, then I showed the statistics on the apple App Store with downloads proving commercial impact (13k+ downloads). I showed the app on the App Store as copyright to the company with a link to the app also, and I showed a screenshot of the App Store dashboard as me as the developer for iOS in the company. Also I added a new evidence showing my technical contribution to the app like screenshots of the private repo with recent commits by me, link to the postman API docs, Figma designs, group chat discussions of me and other software engineers regarding the app development.

  6. I also added my iOS development certificate just as an extra and a document showing a few contributions to iOS community on stack overflow reaching 1k people.

Are these sufficient? Please help review

My thoughts:

I think the recommendation letters sound good, would you say the recommenders leaders in digital technology? (e.g. a track record of strong contributions / roles etc in their resume?) Make sure they know your work for a period of at least 12 months and can articulate your accomplishments and your expected impact in the UK (not just compliments).

I think it would be good to compare it using percentiles of salaries in Nigeria instead of averages, since in many countries being higher than average or higher than minimum wage might not be a strong enough signal of it being a high salary.

If the company is a consultancy I would be hesitant to include it at all. The TN reviewer will for sure Google the company name, and find it on the website or LinkedIn listed as a consultancy your evidence will be dismissed as not a product led technology company. If you can find someone inside the company that can update this in the company website/Linked In that would be much better.

OC1 is evidence of innovation, and the criteria for what counts as innovation is strict and a common reason for rejection is not enough proof of work being innovative. Considering you’re using this for the mandatory criteria too, you might wanna consider going for a different optional criteria.

I don’t think I would put group chat discussions, I don’t think it evidences much and at worst it just adds lots of noise. Instead you can talk about the technical architecture of the app and what parts of it you built in an evidence document alongside the commits. The other things (downloads on the app store, the figma designs, the repository commits) are all good as long as they have your name attached.

I don’t think either of these is worth including. 1k reach on Stack Overflow is not much at all, and the certificate is not something that should be a separate document (but should be part of your resume instead). Do you have maybe open source contributions to include instead?

Overall I think the application still needs some work, specially if all the evidences in all the 3 criteria are about the same apps or the same body of work.

Thank you. I’ll work on these. I appreciate your feedback.