Recently I spoke with a colleague about not getting a role they had applied for. When they were told their application had been unsuccessful, the recruiter told them that they had, “made the shortlist”. Their response was why bother telling me that?
That made me pause. Why indeed bother? And as we reflected we discussed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who at the Oscar awards switched from saying "and the winner is" to "and the award goes to" in recognition that making the short list is an accomplishment in itself. Digging deeper into the topic, we discussed the view is that there is inherent encouragement in telling a candidate they made the short list.
This led to the colleague deciding to ask for feedback on where their application could be strengthened...
There is disappointment in not getting the role, gig, project, but there is opportunity in knowing you made the shortlist!