I am a finishing PhD student in Mathematical Physics in a very good and prestigious EU University. I have excellent publishing record, including a single authored technical paper, have been awarded international fellowships and awards and have given invited talks in places like UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford, Rutgers.
My referees except for my supervisor are world known, matching the top of the top. My supervisor is very mild, not very expressive and relatively young but excellent scientist and known in his field of expertise.
Nevertheless for a long time I got no postdoc offers although I applied to nearly 60 places. At some point I applied for three places informally without having to provide my supervisors letter and I got 3/3 offers (plus one more I had to decline for technical reasons).
This got me really worried. One of the people who offered me job told me that the letter of my supervisor was not bad at all but it was not written in a "strong language" that would convince somebody to hire me. He told me he has seen "much stronger letters" especially from supervisors from Italy, Spain, USA and Russia.
In these 3 successful offers I had in two cases I had known from before the principal investigators and I had given talks at their departments. They both were more than happy to offer me directly a job.
Isn't it weird that my supervisor did not have any role in these successes and as a matter of fact isn't it plausible that his letter is simply not well written (I am his first PhD student) and this was the reason I did not get offers from all those initial places? Not even our collaborator gave me a job offer or at least shortlisted me.
I just want some opinions and also maybe to let this note exist here for other people who might get frustrated.