I was laid off March '10. Didn't really start looking till September '10 or so, and it took till January '11 before I found the job that I ended up getting, and till March to actually get hired into it. Been there about two weeks now. Its less than I was getting paid before I got laid off, but I'm enjoying it immensely more.
Here's the thing though- out of all the jobs that I applied to, that was the ONLY one that I REALLY wanted.
I'm a mechanical engineer by schooling, and have lifted weights for the past 10 years or so.
The job? An engineering position at Precor Fitness, working on their new line of cardio equipment.
I think what really put me over with all the people that I interviewed with, besides that fact that I'd had some good experience from working 5 years in construction management, was that I was actually PASSIONATE about the job and the company and the implied lifestyle.
In the second round of interviews, when I got asked why I wanted the position, after I got done answering, the Project Manager that was in the room said "That was THE best answer I've ever heard for that question," and I was able to provide the answer based on the fact that engineering and exercise are two things I'm passionate about, and that Precor combines both of those things.
TL;DR- while you're applying for jobs, make sure you apply for jobs that you would actually be passionate about. That will show through in your interactions during the application process.
And start volunteering. It looks good on a resume, since it shows you've got drive and it shows you've been doing something. And its a fun way to pass the time. I recommend Habitat for Humanity. Thats who I started working with when I was unemployed.