On the first glance, after reading the Tech City UK Guidelines, the content and format of a recommendation letter for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent (Promise) Visa is clear. But…
It is a great fortune to simply find eligible people. They can give you such recommendations and life is great in this case. In other words, you know a person who helps you and is:
a senior member (C-suite) of established organisation in the digital technology sector;
this organisation could be an institution or a company with a well-established national or international reputation. But preferably, it has to be UK-based organisation; and recognised expertise in the digital technology sector.
What to write?
If you have already known such person – you are a lucky talent. Move further. Now you need to ask The Person about two things. Firstly, to write what was in the past (your past) and, secondly, what possibly can be in your future.
The person has to detail your achievements in your specialist field. How in the opinion of the author you have demonstrated that you are a world leader or demonstrate significant potential in your field. What achievements do you have. Why you are so special and perspective lady or gay?
Also, it will be good to mention how you met or get acquainted (via personal relationship or reputation). Hence, people who will assess your documents will not have any extra questions neither to you nor to your referee.
It has to be not a pure fantasy. The Person has to suggest what will be in your future in the UK if you will get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. This person has to describe how you would benefit from living in the UK and the contribution you could make to the UK digital technology sector.
What to double check?
Additional task to you is checking details about the person who will give you a recommendation letter. If a referee will not include brief of his / her credentials, you need to add the author’s credentials (for example, a CV/resume). The simplest way is to find information at your referee’s LinkedIn profile, company or University page.
Double check full contact details of the author. Including personal email address and direct telephone number. Having a minor misunderstanding representatives of the body who will assess your application, will make a personal contact. Hence, your task is to make their life easier. Please, be sure that all these contacts are included.
Important details about Recommendation Letter
Finally, below I provide at least three of the answers for questions that appeared in my head when I was seeking for a person who can help me with writing such letter
Shall it be only on headed paper? In most cases, yes. So you must do your best to receive such recommendation letters on a special paper with clear identification sign of the company, where your Honourable Person Who Provide You Recommendation works. However, they might be on the plain paper A4 (not headed). However, this exception concerns only the exceptional cases. For example, when you receive such letter from C-suite managers of the international companies like KPMG, Microsoft, Alibaba or similar. The internal compliance of such companies may not permit them to sign such kind of letters on headed paper.
Title of a Signee
Can I send a recommendation letter from the receptionist / Junior QA / HR at Google (IBM, Apple, etc.)? I suggest this recommendation paper would be a nice addendum to your supporting documents. Sure, if you will not overreach the limit of 10 supporting docs. Frankly speaking, some of my recommendations I have added as a supporting document. But it will not work for recommendation letter. Even if this letter is on headed paper from well-known organisation. This link between the highest level of management of the company and headed paper cannot be breached.
Special, not general
May I use a recommendation letter that CEO from Twitter (Uber, Petiole, etc.) gave me during my internship at their company last summer? No, it also can be a supporting document. But a recommendation letter must be written for the only purpose – to support your UK Tier 1 Exceptional Promise (Talent) Visa application. Its format and content is shaped for completing unique and hard task to assess you as a talent and expert in your field. Finally, as Guidelines say: “The letter should not be a general all-purpose reference letter”. Hence, be precise in choosing what to give to the Tech City UK.