I would cautiously stick my head out here and say that, “maybe where you’re going wrong (whoever you are, wherever you’re going ...), is that you are putting far too much faith in job-sites and/or recruiters!”
The essential “value proposition” of a recruiter is that he-or-she is “in the know” about the jobs that you want and is in the best position (or, the only position) to get your foot into the door. But I would argue that this proposition really does not pan-out at all in practice. The recruiter does not really know the product (“you ...”) and is scarcely in a position to feel that he or she must find out. After all, there are thousands of “hits” coming up in his or her back-end search of Monster.Com. “Just play the numbers: spew resumes at the prospect, and hope that one of them sticks so that you can collect your fee. Calculate your ‘hit-rate’ and be happy with 5 percent.”
People have no idea that their Monster-ous resumes are expensive for people to actually hire. Nor do they fathom how identical they appear, when viewed through Monster’s macro-scopic lens. The real reason why their system isn’t working for you, is that it doesn’t work.
Don’t expect anyone else to do your selling for you ... and also, don’t imagine that “I know how to program in Perl” is actually what you are or should be selling. I have, over three decades, used close to two-dozen programming language tools in professional work, and I have grown quite good at selling that expertise, none of which is “programming-language specific.” I can also gage whether a particular prospect is likely to be a worthwhile sales-target for me or not, and I politely but quickly dispose of those that are unlikely.
The person who buys my expertise and services isn’t buying it for the fact that I know how to design and re-engineer big business systems “in Perl.” (Or COBOL, or SAS®, or Prolog, or ...) They buy because they’ve got a system in-trouble and they want to achieve a project rescue/turn-around. There is something in it, first and foremost, for them. The business situation that they are in right now is going to be mitigated, and the business risk of getting back in the same hot-water in the future is going to be substantially reduced. Your “value prop” is probably going to be much different. Nevertheless, you must know what it is, and be able to say it clearly and persuasively. With or without Perl.
He who has a thing to sell / But talks about it in a well / Is much less apt to get the dollars / Than he who stands on hill, and hollers.
In reply to Re: Is PerlMonks relevant for one's Perl marketability?