I don’t know if this would be opening a whole can of new worms,

but have you considered going into business for yourself? All this time and energy logged to try to get people to hire you for permanent work, i this age of piecemeal, contract work, maybe you could hire out as a contractor to come in and do short-term assignments? Or hire out as a consultant to tweak people’s systems so that they can run a good tight ship? That might be an option. I know a lot of my software engineering friends went that direction and did quite well with it. I did that work too for awhile before things here really took off. Just a thought. It might seem so similar as to not be worth much difference – interviewing for jobs versus marketing for services – but somehow it makes a world of difference for bean-counters at the various companies. The former, they have to hire on someone who will expect benefits, retirement, sick days, etc. The latter would be hiring on a person providing a service, no more no less, with no strings attached. That difference can be huge when it comes to the company saying “yes”. Just a thought……

When I got my last university job

in 2002 during that big downturn, I was one of *700* applicants for the position. With that many applicants they don’t even read all the resumes.

I was precisely and exactly qualified for the job, but I also know my resume made it out of the slush pile because my boss at a previous university job was good buddies with one of the department chairs.
I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn now, because of the “who you know” factor. IT people are well networked. I’m convinced the best way to find an IT job is to know people before the jobs ever get posted. I don’t think any of my current employer’s IT jobs were ever posted.