I graduated from a Sacramento area school and I haven't gotten a call for any of the positions posted for the last 2 rounds of the STRONG program, so don't feel too bad. It's open for only a very
few positions and you're not just competing with hundreds of applicants equally either. I know for a fact there are "insiders" who get selected as well, meaning, they have connections within recruitment. Then those that are connected (family friends, etc) bring in a person or two that they're
friends with from their graduating class.
Other than that, it seems to be a lotta luck. If I could do school all over again, I would work sooo much harder at trying to make friends and network at the facilities you do clinical rounds in. Get to know the managers and express interest in working there. It's stuff they never go over in school, though I wish they did. The market is so saturated and cold to new grads and schools
kinda throw you out there unprepared for what you need to do to get your career started, i.e. pretty much give up on starting at a hospital, unless you've got an "in," and start at a SNF. It's stuff I'm having to learn on my own, and thankfully, through this great site.