"It's not what you know; it's who you know." I just read this platitude for what must be the thousandth time, spouted by a blog commenter who said she is a recruiter.
This seems to be a false dichotomy. The "who" will help you get a job because knowing you enables that person to have a sense of "what you know."
The aphorism suggests that nepotism is so rampant that qualifications don't matter. It also gives cover for a common fear and a correlated envy - fear of self-promotion and disdain for people who have the confidence to promote themselves. In most cases, even people who show inappropriate favoritism, show that favoritism among people who have already made the first cut. Their own reputations depend on it.
If no one with power to help you knows "what you know," the problem is not your lack of connections, it is your failure to communicate.