Start a blog. The time you spend researching, writing, and building your online presence will pay off when a prospective employer Googles you. Sapphire Berry uses her laptop computer at an Occupy Anchorage economic protest in Anchorage, Alaska. Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News/AP/File
Start a business. No matter what happens, it will be a learning experience. And who hasn't wanted to try being their own boss? Wesley Davis holds a small portion of the eggs he collects every day produced by his free-ranging hens at his home in Point Pleasant, W.Va.. Kenny Kemp/Charleston Gazette/AP/File
Volunteer. In addition to the concept that doing good is its own reward, donating your time and talents may impress the right people in terms of lining you up for your next job. Lyn Kent helps build a house for Habitat For Humanity in the Joplin, Mo., tornado zone. T. Rob Brown/The Joplin Globe/AP
Learn a new skill. This may involve going back to school, but if it makes you more employable, it's time well spent. Sherri Cuccaro practices her pipe welding technique during an advanced class at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich. Ms. Cuccaro has been unemployed for five years; she used to work in retail as a receiving manager, but after losing her job decided to study skilled trades because they provided better opportunities. Brandy Baker/The Detroit News/AP
Learn a new language. You will be more attractive as a potential hire if you're bilingual. Rosetta Stone Inc./PRNewsFoto/Rosetta Stone Inc.
Get fit. You will look and feel better during your job search, which can only help in an interview. A jogger passes by on the Strand, the bicycle/jogging path that runs along Santa Monica Bay from Redondo Beach to Malibu, in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Robert Harbison/Staff/File
Practice public speaking. You'll meet people and build your confidence, making interviews less intimidating. Chelsea Clinton speaks during a panel discussion regarding technologies for economic empowerment at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Lucas Jackson/Reuters/File
Teach a class. Sharing your skills not only is satisfying, it looks good on your resume. Melissa Pavick helps 2nd grader Hellen Card during computer class at Father Holland Catholic School in Pascoag, R.I. Ann Hermes/Staff/File
Do an internship. Not just for college students or recent graduates, internships have become de rigeur for anyone trying to break into a new field. Tatyana Gryazeva (l.), a criminalist at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, instructs Lache Rossouw (r.), a visiting scientist from South Africa, and Kelsey Baker, an intern, on extracting DNA at a training lab of the OCME Forensic Biology Lab in New York. Mary Altaffer/AP/File
Do freelance or temporary work. This actually pays, and you can have such diverse working experiences as working from home or even traveling the world as a freelance writer. Shimon Rura, a freelance software developer, walks on a treadmill while working from home. He built the customized desk to see how the movement would effect his productivity, workflow, and overall health. Mary Knox Merrill/Staff/File
More than three months after emergency federal jobless benefits expired, the US Senate Monday approved a five-month extension. But people who need those funds to fill their gas tank or pay their rent while they look for work are not out of the woods yet. The bipartisan bill, which passed 59 to 38 with the support of six Republicans, faces stiff opposition from Republican gatekeepers in the House.