No, sorry. No, thank you. We're not interested at this time. Thank you for applying. We're looking at other candidates. We'll be in touch. We'll keep your resume on file in case something opens up.

I'm sure you've heard some of these before. I've heard a lot of them lately. Putting yourself out there – in person, via resume, on a job application, over the phone – is scary stuff. It takes a thick skin to apply for employment and not feel hurt when you hear a "no" (regardless of the reason).

Of course job hunting experts/psychologists/your mom will tell you it's not personal. They're not rejecting you, they have candidates that better match the position or who know someone in the company or just gelled better with the interviewer. It's not you, it's us. Right? Not quite.

A resume is a career version of oneself on paper. Am I more than my last two jobs or references? Of course. Do I have talents other than those listed? Definitely. Am I worth more than my requested salary? Damn straight. But when applying for positions, you have to boil yourself down to a one-page biographical advertisement.

You must shine…but for them, or that company, or that position, specifically.

You have to tailor yourself down to Professional Experience and Educational Achievements and Skill Sets. That's only a small part of who I am. But a part of me, no less. So when I am rejected for a position I applied for, it hurts…sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

One of the companies I had a phone interview with broke up with me. The recruiter, who was so excited and positive on the call last week, sent me a rejection email today. The hiring manager decided to go with other candidates blah blah blah. I was crushed. It hurt. A lot.

But the irony is, I didn't really want to work there. I was hesitant to apply in the first place because it would have been even more "corporate" than my last job. A bigger company with more employees and longer hours for not much more money. They were towards the bottom of my "Apply To" list right from the start.

And then they called me. And I thought they wanted me. Which made me think I wanted them. Then they rejected me. And I was instantly depressed. My husband, God bless him, reminded me I didn't even want to work there. I'd completely forgotten that fact.

Yes, rejection hurts…and I know I have more to come, but I had neglected to listen to myself in all this. I lost my inner voice, the one that guides me and protects me. I wanted to be wanted.

I was caught up in the employment game. And I almost got played.