How to write your Tech Nation personal statement

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In some Global Talent visa endorsement applications, you have to write a personal statement.

These include those applying to Tech Nation, the British Academy, and the Royal Society (but not others e.g. PACT, or the Arts Council).

Having reviewed many Tech Nation personal statements in the past, here are some pointers on what has worked, and what hasn’t.

What are the instructions?

In British Academy and Royal Society endorsement applications you are asked in the relevant form to “provide a personal statement outlining your case for qualifying for Global Talent”, which is reasonably clear.

However, in Tech Nation applications, there is a (fairly large) discrepancy between the instructions provided in the guidance, and the form. The guidance says:

However, the Stage 1 endorsement form itself – where you have to actually type out the statement – provides instructions as follows:

These instructions are different.

The Tech Nation guidance instructs applicants to discuss what value they would bring to the UK and the contribution they would make (i.e. to explain what they will do in the future).

However, in the form, the applicant is invited to explain how they meet the mandatory and optional criteria (i.e. with a focus on what they have done in the past)

Looking forward or back?

Our recommended approach has generally been to focus on how the mandatory and optional criteria are met by reference to past achievements, but with a nod to future contribution via a final forward-looking paragraph covering the guidance.

In lots of statements we see, not enough time is spent explaining how an applicant believes that they meet the criteria.

These criteria are important, and form the basis of the endorsement assessment.

What else should be included?

In a Tech Nation endorsement application you have to show that you are a leader in your field.

Sometimes it may not be clear how wide your field is: it may be that you are a leader within a uber-niche sub-specialism.

In which case the question “what is my field?” is a really important question, and frames the application.

The personal statement is a good place to explain this.

What probably won’t help

Writing in your personal statement that you are applying for an endorsement because things are getting serious with your girlfriend/boyfriend and you need a visa to stay in the UK is unlikely to add value.

Don’t describe your rags to riches story, waste your word count on generalities (“passionate” “team player” “industrious”), or use the process to express your frustration with the UK immigration system.

And don’t use ChatGPT: this is specifically forbidden in the Tech Nation guidance:

Information about our offering to Global Talent visa applicants (or those thinking about applying) is here.