I have my personal opinion about certifications however I wanted to get a sense of other people's experiences. I am not advising them on which certifications to take. I want to convey to them what people on the other side of the table feel about certifications. Approximately 22 people have replied thus far and along with my experience, here are my takeaways.
1. Certifications should be applicable to the positions for which you are applying.
2. Certifications are almost necessary for your resume to make it through the initial rounds of HR filtering. (Google job descriptions and look at the requirements to verify.)
3. Certifications demonstrate your basic understanding of concepts and sometimes procedures. (The certificate will get you in the door but you have to ace the actual interview.)
4. Do not invest a lot of time and money in trying to attain a lot of certifications. Be strategic.
5. Network, network, network! A lot of jobs opportunities are passed on via the friend of a friend.
6. (Not directly about certifications) Learn about the popular risk management frameworks (e.g., NIST, COBIT, ISO) used in your area and get hands on experience with the open source tools (they are free).