Job searching is like any other task. It helps to have a clear goal, a practical plan and some learnable skills.
To land a good job, you need to market yourself to those who might want to hire you.
A Clear Goal
Ask yourself some questions. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies or volunteer activities? Can you relate your interests to a job? Are you drawn to any particular type of work? What kind of work would you like to be doing five, 10 or 15 years from now?
The professionals at your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office can help you refine your interests and goals, so you know what you are looking for in employment.
Develop a Plan
Applying for a job is like any other activity where you need to convince someone to do something, in this case, hire you. You need to market your knowledge, skills and experience, whether you are just out of school or have years of work behind you.
Make a List
The first step in marketing your talents is identifying your situation and your qualifications. Make a detailed list of your job-related skills, abilities and interests. When you are done, you'll know exactly what assets you have to offer an employer. Use the following questions to help make your list. Later, you can use some of this information on your resume.
You have a choice for the next step. You can either select job information sources or prepare your resume.
Job Information Sources
You may need to learn more about different types of jobs. Two valuable sources of information are South Dakota's Career Learning Centers, which provide education and training programs and can assist you in learning about available jobs, and your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office, which can provide information about job openings and the qualifications needed to fill them and training in job-seeking skills. The local offices may be able to refer you to just the sort of job you want.
Most professions will require a resume, but, no matter what job you are pursuing, a good resume can be a big plus. Many employers tell us that a poor resume helps them screen out applicants. On the other hand, an effective resume will often lead to a personal interview, which you might not get otherwise.
Your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office can help you in developing your resume.
As you write your resume, remember it should be detailed enough to give an employer the information needed to assess your qualifications. However, the employer will usually skim it over and not read it all. Therefore, your resume needs to be concise and contain only the pertinent information that will get the employer's attention.
You can post your resume on various websites, allowing employers nation-wide to match their needs with your skills.
You may find helpful the guidance on resume writing in the South Dakota Careerwise booklet. Also available in Microsoft Word format are shell documents for each of the three styles of resumes discussed in the booklet.
A job interview is your showcase for marketing your talents. During the interview an employer judges your qualifications, appearance and general appropriateness for the job opening. Equally important, it gives you a chance to appraise the job, the employer and the company. It lets you decide if the job meets your career needs and interests and if the employer is someone you want to work for. Here are a few tips:
View the SD Department of Labor and Regulation's "Keys to Successful Interviewing" video for additional guidance and tips.
Each year, the local offices of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation fill more than 50,000 job openings. Every office is staffed with trained professionals ready to help you identify opportunities and prepare for productive employment.
Staff can help you:
All individuals seeking employment or information about the local labor market receive assistance at no charge. Job listings are posted from local employers, state-wide employers, and federal and state government agencies. As a starting point, you may want to consider completing the applicant registration form (available here in Adobe .pdf format*) before visiting the local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office. Choose English or Spanish.
Experience Works - This is an employment and training program designed to assist you if you are age 55 and older. Eligibility is determined by income. Specific program requirements are available at your nearest South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation local office.
Job Search Assistance Program (JSAP) - A free workshop for people recovering from job loss or enhancing their job search skills. Trained instructors speak on modern-day techniques used to successfully find employment. Topics covered are: resume and cover letter writing, interviewing etiquette, networking effectively, using social media and much more. See your local office for dates and more information about registering.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment & Training - TANF and SNAP E & T are employment and training programs designed to assist applicants or recipients to prepare for and secure full-time employment, leading toward economic self-sufficiency. Participants may be placed in community service or employment that provides basic work skills, improving the chances of being successful in the workforce and leaving public assistance behind. Specific program requirements are available at your nearest South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation local office.
Training Opportunities - Staff can identify the appropriate training for you, such as on-the-job training, computer training, Work Experience, customized skill training and apprenticeships.
Veterans' Services - Veterans' representatives provide specialized assistance with job referrals, training, Veterans Affairs contacts and community support.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) - The Workforce Investment Act is a federally funded employment training program designed to prepare youth and adults for entry into the labor force. Participation and eligibility are based on and determined by an assessment process. (This is not an entitlement program.) WIA offers education and job training programs that can help in overcoming barriers to employment.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits - Unemployment insurance benefits provide compensation for you if you have lost your job through no fault of your own.
SDWORKS is a state electronic labor database of job seekers and employers. You can use SDWORKS to anonymously search this database of jobs that contains, on average, 10,000 job openings and can normally apply for any job you find directly with the employer who posted it. Registering with SDWORKS is without charge and allows you to:
(Note: You must register with SDWORKS to use this feature.)
Each local office has a resource room available for job search-related use, including:
Use mydlr.sd.gov, a website designed by the Department of Labor and Regulation specifically for job seekers which provides fingertip access to expert employment services. View or print a mydlr.sd.gov rack card (in Adobe .pdf format*) for more information.
Find new career opportunities based on the skills you have or explore training opportunities to address any skill gaps you may have using the my Skills my Future website.
Download the Job Seeker Services brochure in Adobe .pdf format*.
If you cannot find the information you are seeking among the topics listed in the menu at the top left of this page, please contact us.
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
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