Create a list of target companies. Know where you want to apply so that you can determine how best to shape your resume and cover letter.
You can start by searching for companies on LinkedIn by choosing the industry type and location. You may want to find member companies in your area or use Google to search for organizations.
Research your target companies. Search for people who work at your target companies and take a look at the roles they play in the company. Are you somehow connected to them? Use your connections to acquire information about the company you plan to apply for.
Use Google News and Google Finance to get regular updates and an array of results about the company. Don’t be too quick to apply for a job — See if you can get someone on the inside to create a referral and help you.
Network yourself into your target companies. Your chances of getting hired will increase if you get a referral from the inside. And the potential salary boost is greatest if you’re referred by someone who isn’t in the same department you are applying for.
You can help yourself accomplish this by reaching out to your connections. (Catch up and genuinely reconnect first rather than going straight to a request for a referral.)
If you can, turn an online connection into a human relationship. As a kind gesture, perhaps you can buy someone a cup of coffee. Where you can and wish to, build a friendship and help your job search at the same time.
Make yourself findable. Build a personal website with a copy of your resume, and create or point to blog posts that discuss things that personally interest you. If you have writing skills, write articles related to your field that will help build your personal brand. (Don’t forget to include a portfolio of your work that will help demonstrate your knowledge and professionalism.)
Get yourself out there. No matter how indispensable your computer is when it comes to helping you with your job applications, personal relationships are what matter the most. The Internet is a starting point, but make sure you get out and meet new people as often as you can.