I am most definitely in the same boat. I recently graduated with a BSN this semester; however, I have not taken boards yet. But, I have been applying to new grad positions. I've gotten only 1 phone call and was told they chose the more experienced candidate - I was heartbroken for a while, but am over it. I am also relocating, which was sort of a disadvantage because I was not able to make it to any open houses. I heard it's better to place your resume in the manager's hands and talk to them, but sometimes that isn't the case. When I relocate, I do plan to go up to hospitals and personally give them my resume if I need to.
I agree that the job market for new grad nurses is tough and that is pretty depressing. Also, getting into a residency would be a great opportunity but it is so competitive because everyone wants to apply. I've been applying to positions within a thirty minute distance, but I may definitely have to open my options. I really don't want to drive a hour, but I will if I have to.
I would suggest to make sure you have a really good resume and cover letter. Place all of your certifications on there and everything. My resume is pretty simple, because I really don't have much to put on there. I don't have my license yet, the only certification I have is my BLS, I was not a nurse tech and hasn't had any volunteer work (besides the required community service during nursing school
) within the hospital setting. So, I am definitely going to have to pray about it for sure! But, keep on applying and applying and applying. Since I am not in desperate need of a job yet, I am trying to apply to jobs that I would rather work such as hospital jobs (Med-surg and ER, would consider telemetry) and jobs with a 20-mile radius. But, after receiving my licensure or when money becomes tight, that may change. And, any time now, the manager may call and it may be a phone interview - so, practice on what they may ask, make sure you stay professional and enthusiatic...that happened to me, and I was oh so nervous! It was so unexpected.
Stay Optimistic, Good Luck and God Bless!