In all seriousness back when I was looking for jobs 5-6 years ago I had 5 years experience and nothing that really stood me apart on paper from other applicants. I was sending out and submitting resumes like a fat kid on a cupcake. And same situation as you guys. Nothing was panning out! Couldn't even get a response half the time from HR departments.
Then I started researching the companies that were in my area, within driving distance. I would write my cover letters specifically for whatever positions/areas each company had available and address them to a specific person within that company (sometimes you gotta do some digging to get a name in HR or a VP of a dept), print out your cover letter and resume, throw on a suit and PHYSICALLY go down to said business, stroll in and hand deliver your cover/resume! Preferably to the person you wrote it to, if you can get past a secretary you're doing well!
I think today people get so caught up in firing off resume's through email or online applications. And YES while 99% of companies out there prefer this/sometimes even require this... an email is easily overlooked, deleted or not even read at all. Or even worse most of the time online applications go into a database are often times never seen or heard of again (trust me I know how it works at my company), BUT if you hand deliver it - make an impression - they put a face with a name and a resume/ cover letter you're ten times more likely to get your foot in the door than simply firing off online versions.
Just a suggestion! Knowing somebody doesn't hurt , but then again it doesn't always help either!