Time for a little straight talk. In this economy, employers don't care about where you worked; they care about how you can help them. That's why you need to start discovering your transferable career skills.
As the name implies, transferable career skills are abilities that can help you in any job you do. If you used to work as a grant writer, for instance, those skills would be applicable to other positions that involve being able to write in great detail. It's easy enough to identify job skills that will help you with your future employment. The hard part comes when you have to explain them.
You should emphasize applicable skills in your resume, but the cover letter is where you can really make them shine. Remember that it's not enough to simply state the abilities you have that are related to the job in question. Include specific anecdotes from your previous experiences to help strengthen these claims. If you were applying for a job in communications, you could cite your previous work in public relations.
The best examples you can cite are ones that not only show your abilities to perform a task, but also prove you can learn new skills quickly. There's no better way to stand out from the competition by showing you can think quick on your feet. For example: "While working in public relations, I had to quickly devise a better way of keeping myself organized. I was able to do this by separating my tasks from the most important to the least."
Once you are able to master the task of explaining your transferable career skills, you will be on the path to finding your new job.