What does it mean to be an expert in perl/anything, but not have job experience?
"Job experience" is not the same as "experience". Many would see the phrase "job experience" and understand that pay was exchanged for services.
However, one may gain experience outside of the corporate world, especially in OSS. I suspect significant contributions to CPAN and the Core were made by folks who don't get paid for Perl. But many of those would be experts.
I didn't get paid for Perl for 15 years after I started mucking about with it on my own. Even then, no one cared that it was Perl. And I don't think I'm an expert at any of it, but I'm able to identify the parts of the engine, diagnose a few things, and subsequently know when to call in a domain expert.
If someone puts down "X years contributing to Perl" or "X years skulking at Perl Monks", or even "X years teaching colleagues and going to conferences", and has some evidence to back it up, that's experience.
Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of