Please Rate My Exceptional Talent Evidence List

Hi guys, could you please share your opinion on my evidence set for Exceptional Talent? I am in an emotional swing and am often sure that this is not enough and I should cancel the attempt.

Personal Statement
I am a product designer, team leader of a design team, from a British technology company (machine learning). I am planning to move to London and continue working for my company.

CV
More than 15 years in design, from creative agencies and outsource SW development companies to ML Product Startup.

Letters of Recommendation:

  1. From the founder of my current company, an internationally recognised entrepreneur with several successful businesses (USA)

  2. From the Chairman of the Board of Directors of my current company (UK)

  3. From my former manager who is now a VP at a major digital tech startup (Estonia)

Mandatory Criteria - Leadership

  1. High salary evidence (current contract + GlassDoor Info for my country)
  2. A letter from the organisers of a large regional conference (3000 participants from whole Europe) that I spoke from the main stage and was invited because of my unique expertise. + Photos from the event
  3. A letter from organisers of big software and design contest which was attended by over 1000 people and where I was the judge of the design panel in 2016-2017. + Photos from the events

OC 1 - Innovations

  1. Description of a user interface design innovation (a principle that simplifies user interaction with a complex Machine Learnig-based system) that I have implemented in my company and that market leaders are considering to implement in their systems. 3 pages doc with the description and some photos. Unfortunately no patents, just some description with diagrams and photos of working in action.

  2. Letter of support from CTO of my company with description of my impact into innovative ML products that my company creates.

OC 2 - Activities outside of work

  1. Evidence of mentorship (online mentorship platforms profiles with reviews, photos from my pro-bono lectures)

OC 3 - Technical contribution and impact

  1. Examples of my design work - maybe my portfolio or screenshots of my works

  2. Letter of support from my former colleague, now chief designer in big international company about my work as Design Team Lead on my previous job

  3. Letter of support from my former manager from my current company, now senior manager from US company, about my help in building a highly qualified design department in my current company

What weaknesses do you see? What can be improved?

Thanks for the help!

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Two of your recommenders are linked to your current employer, they will pretty much give similar recommendations.

You need to make up your mind about the optional criteria, you can’t submit evidence for three.

Hi Francisca, many thanks for your reply!

I missed that ‘evidence of 2’ means no more than two, thanks for pointing out. I think they are easy to transfer to OC3, as contributions.

Hi there! A couple of quick thoughts:

OC3 seems to be where you can lean in a bit to improve your chances. You’ll want to ensure that all your letters of reference include the quantifiable impact of your work. For example, for #8 and 9, they need to go beyond “@mitt89 is a great designer and good at his job.” They need to show that through your work, change/growth/development happened for the product/feature/company. Always use numbers. Additionally, can you uplevel some of your reference letters? #9 feels a bit junior - shoot for the highest level of referer you can that is familiar with your work. Think Director level or above.

For #7, in addition to referencing your work in a profile, can you include screenshots of articles in well-respected publications (Forbes, TechCrunch, Biz Insider, etc.) of your work in the media? Has it won any awards that you can include?

Hi @mclarenf1, thanks for your reply!

#9 feels a bit junior - shoot for the highest level of referer you can that is familiar with your work. Think Director level or above.

for #9 I can ask my current company Design Director, but is it ok to have a main stream of support letters from one company?

Has it won any awards that you can include?

the project I was working on won several industry awards for innovation, but that was in 2017, which is obviously more than 5 years old. Do they expire?

@Francisca_Chiedu @mclarenf1 I also just noticed that I only have one evidence in OC2. Is there a minimum limit on the amount of evidence for one criteria for Exceptional Talent?

Not an issue that your Dir. of Design is from the same company as another letters of reference, but I wouldn’t have too many. For my current role, I had a LoR from my CEO, and then a letter of reference as a piece of evidence from another member of the C-team. Just ensure that the letters address specific different projects you worked on that satisfy the requirement.

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minimum of two evidence

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Time for update.

The application was sent on July 7, the answer was received on July 29.

All ‘no’.

Honestly, I am crushed by the result and did not expect that I would not receive approval in any category. I don’t think I should continue.

2 Likes

Sorry to hear that @mitt89. If you don’t mind could you share the response from TN to see if others can provide insight into how to go about an appeal (if that’s on the table). With that plus the evidence list you have above (assuming that is exactly what you submitted) you can get suggestions from others on how to approach the next step.

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sorry to hear that.
please share their feedback.

Thanks for the words of support!

There are quite a lot of feedback, more than one A4 sheet, so I have selected the key points for this list (together with final list of evidence pieces provided).

Feedback for CV and personal statement:

  • No evidence of recognition outside of the main career

Mandatory Criteria:

  • High salary evidence (current contract + GlassDoor Info for my country)
  • Letter of support from former Head of Product from my company about about my successful building of the small design department
  • A letter from the organisers of a large regional conference (3000 participants from whole Europe) that I spoke from the main stage and was invited because of my unique expertise.
  • Speech on the conference was related to my daily job, so it’s not the proof of the leadership
  • Need more proofs of public speaking incidents than just one conference
  • Not enough of evidence of leadership

OC2 (Proof of recognition for work beyond the applicant’s occupation that contributes to the advancement of the field):

  • A letter from organisers of big software and design contest which was attended by over 1000 people and where I was the judge of the design panel.
  • Evidence of mentorship (online platforms with reviews, photos from my pro-bono lectures)
  • My company website doesn’t indicate any mentions about my recognition in the field of ML
  • No evidence of significant adoptions of my work
  • No solid examples of mentorship
  • One judge panel is not enough

OC3 (significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as employee of a product-led digital technology company):

  • Letter of support from CTO of my company with description of my impact into innovative ML products that my company creates
  • Example of my design work - project with awards
  • Example of my design work - interface that simplifies user interaction with a complex Machine Learnig-based system) that I have implemented in my company and that market leaders are considering to implement in their systems
  • it is difficult to determine whether these have been significant contributions, as required for the threshold to meet the OC3 condition.
  • No metrics of impact provided
  • Need more details with proof of significant contribution to this field

thanks for sharing, to be honest, my feedback on your submission is that you depended too much on reference letter. in technation guide, it is mentioned that reference letters solely are not sufficient.
colleagues in here will be able to advise further, however, in my opinion, to resubmit by having other evidences, and to have only 1 reference letter for each criteria and supporting it with other evidences.

The bar in the feedback seems so high and I’m guessing it’s because he applied for talent.

I really hope the yardstick they use for talent and promise differ even if it’s the same evidence categories they (applicants for talent and promise) both choose

or would it be expected that someone applying for promise must have given public lecture and mentorship??

I applied as a talent, promise has other requirements.

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Thanks for sharing these details.

This is feedback under OC3 (impact). The issue may not be the evidence itself but with how it is being presented. How did the designs lead to impact? That is the question on the TN assesor’s mind. TN wants to see numbers, ether in the form of currency (revenue increase due to your work or cost saving due to your work) or usage by end-users. Though this feedback is reported specifically under OC3 it should cut across all your evidence including recommendation letters (the 3), CV and personal statement. Showing a common thread of impact in your overall story counts.

The other thing I think TN is saying is that they expect to see some consistency, a track record in those things you provided.

A re-application may work if you can get the numbers to back up your work. As for the consistency aspect it may require a little more time (this is assuming promise is not an option).

These are just my views please and not conclusive statements in any way.

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in my opinion, I think you should ask for a review, tech nation guide did not state the number of conferences you must show to evidence the mandatory criterion. I just think another assessor may see things differently. Now some feedback are making the guide look ambiguos…