For all of you that are struggling with getting hits on your resume, I suggest you create a new "resume feedback" thread and post your resume (with company names, contact information, personal details redacted). A few pointers could help you take your resume a long way. Remember that whoever is looking at yours will likely be looking at dozens or hundreds that day. Poor formatting, spelling/grammar errors, etc. will get yours introduced to the garbage can (or recycle bin).
In regards to the original question, certs are simply one piece of the puzzle. Like formal education, experience, other credentials, they don't guarantee anything. Some people won't value them, others will misunderstand them, but that's no reason to avoid pursuing them. In nearly every circumstance, they will give you a little boost.
You need to remember that you're marketing yourself for a job. In this light, certifications are what makes you stand out. Research the job boards and certification-related surveys to identify what's hot. If you're getting certs to get jobs (I personally pursue them as a personal challenge), find the one(s) that will provide the greatest ROI . For example, the CISSP and CISM are next to useless for penetration testing, but you may have to pick those up because those are what HR personnel, who are unlikely to be intimately familiar with security certs, are going to identify as indicators of competence. Now, don't assume that the more technical ones are therefore worthless; that just gets your foot in the door. You'll likely have several interviews that involve more technical people who are more in-the-know. They would be much more likely to appreciate that OSCP that the sweet HR lady thought was Orthopaedic Surgeons of Central PA (thanks Google).
Also, and probably most importantly, be sure you can back up the area you're certified in with actual knowledge. If you crammed and passed some exam years ago, how are you going to fair in an interview when questioned about that subject matter? That puts you at a disadvantage right off the bat and cheapens the quality of the cert in the eyes of the interviewer.
Two other quick thoughts: First, network. Every job I've gotten (and several other offers) were a result of a personal recommendation or connection. Just get to know people. Go to local events (i.e. aforementioned professional organizations), email and PM people you want to get to know better (he ultimately declined, but my recommendation resulted in a job offer to someone in this very thread), and so on. However, don't network with a person specifically for a job; people can tell when they're being used. Just go out and start meeting people. You'll likely find an opportunity or two fall in your lap before you know it (assuming you deserve it; you still need to earn it).
Second, remember that job postings are wish lists. Who cares if they want eight years of experience? Competent people are difficult to find. When all the other applicants with eight years of experience are arrogant, poorly dressed, and/or tardy, someone with less experience who shows promise will often stand above the others.
Finally, MaXe, you need to join Toastmasters and build up your confidence or something. Someone with your skills exudes l33tness. If a noob like me can come off as competent, there's absolutely no reason you should have any problem
The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete.