The unemployment rate keeps going up and it is very discouraging. I do have a few suggestions, though (I do career and job search coaching).
Number 1 is networking; Cafemom is a start, but you need to actively seek out people and groups that can help you meet people who can connect you to someone hiring. Less the half of the available positions are posted on the job boards; you need to get out and find the others. A profile on Linkedin is a must!
Number 2 is having a great "elevator speech". This is a 15 second introduction on who you are and what you are looking for.
Number 3 is a great resume that tells the reader who you are, what you can do, what you have accomplished, and how you can help.
Number 4 is great coverletters tailored to the position/company.
Number 5 is using one of the meta search sites, like Indeed or Simply Hired, to comb the job boards for you.
at 4:13 PM on Mar. 10, 2011