I’m not sure what your degree is in, but the first thing I would advise is talking to your college. Most college programs try hard to place graduates, and many set up interviews on campus during the last semester of your program. That doesn’t do you much good now, but they should still be willing to forward you information. I get a job posting in my field forwarded from my old school about every week .
The second thing I would do is join any professional societies that people in your field might belong to. Most professional societies will waive the dues if you are unemployed, and all of them also seem to have job search services. Plus, going to the meetings is an opportunity to network. Most people are hired because they know someone, rather than on a cold resume submittal – and a lot of jobs are never posted at all, but just filled from people the hiring manager has had referred to them. The more people in your field that you talk to on a regular basis, the better your chances of getting a job.
Also, realize that what you’re experiencing is not unusual. In my last job, when the facility closed, they brought in a job search service to help people out. They told us that if you work at finding a job as if it was your job – in other words, you work at it 40 hours a week, it will take you on average one month for every $10,000 of annual salary you expect to earn to find a job. So if you think you are expecting to earn $40,000 a year, that’s 4 months of looking – more, if you’re really just looking a few hours a week, rather than as a concentrated effort. That’s a lot of rejection, certainly, and not any fun. But I think you shouldn’t get the idea that you’re unusual, as they gave us this as a national average.
It is hard to cope. I’ve been unemployed before, and it’s not fun – I don’t even like working at home over long periods of time. It sounds good to be able to do conference calls in your robe and slippers, but for me it mostly feels lonely (plus I start to hate my house). I would recommend trying to set up something like an office that you can use for job hunting, or even seeing if you don’t have a friend who can let you use a work type space. The only time I was unemployed for long, a friend who is an attorney let me borrow an office to job hunt from. That has the side benefit of giving you access to a nice printer, fax machine and such as well. Plus it gives you a reason to get up and get going every morning, which is hard when you’re at home.
Have you thought about volunteering somewhere, or looking for an unpaid internship? At least that gives you something to put on your resume (besides being unemployed) and that should impress potential employers. It will cut into your job hunting time, but if you’re not really spending 40 hours a week at that, it’s not so much of a concern. A position like that might really help with the way you’re feeling as well. And unpaid internships can turn into full time paid positions when a company or nonprofit has the money to hire someone.