Department of Labor and Regulation

Title - Job Seeker Services

Helping people find jobs is a big part of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation's job. We have people and resources dedicated to helping you find the job you want and need.

How to Search for a Job

How the SD Department of Labor and Regulation Can Help

Programs and Services


Resource Room

South Dakota Career InSite

Other Resources

Get Career Ready - flyer (PDF format) on career services available from the Department of Labor and Regulation

How to Search for a Job

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.

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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.

  • Skills and abilities - What personal qualities do you have that make you good at certain work? Think back over your job experience, school and volunteer activities; try to be honest with yourself.
  • Work history - List all jobs you ever held, including part-time, summer, freelance and voluntary work. For each job give the name and address of your employer, your job title, the details of your duties and the dates you were employed. Then ask yourself, "What did I like about each job? Why? What did I dislike about each job? Why?"
  • Education - List the schools attended, the dates, the main courses you took and the degrees you received. Reflect on your training. What did you like and dislike?
  • Physical condition - Do you have any limitations?
  • Financial status - How long can you afford to be out of work?

You have a choice for the next step. You can either select job information sources or prepare your resume.

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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.

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Preparing a Resume

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.

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Preparing for a Job Interview

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:

  • Allow yourself plenty of time for the interview.
  • Ensure your resume is up to date and that it's letter perfect. Have extra copies on hand.
  • Don't be shy. Be assertive and show initiative - shake hands and introduce yourself. Talk clearly and make eye contact.
  • Bring a pen with you. Know the addresses and phone numbers of your references and previous employers.
  • Listen carefully and gather whatever information you can. Take or ask for a business card and jot down notes to help you remember your conversation. Ask for company literature.
  • Think of your strong points, your goals and where you would fit within the company. Be prepared to discuss what you like doing, what you're looking for in a job and your most relevant skills. Condense these points into a "one-minute commercial" about yourself.
  • Dress appropriately and do not wear a hat or cap unless the position requires it.
  • Be enthusiastic. Employer surveys show enthusiasm is the single most important quality a new employee can bring to a new position. So, smile and project interest in the company.
  • Follow up with employers. A phone call, visit or short note shows your interest.

View the SD Department of Labor and Regulation's "Keys to Successful Interviewing" video for additional guidance and tips.

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How the SD Department of Labor and Regulation Can Help

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:

  • Identify your career interests.
  • Find out what skills are needed for a new career.
  • Write a resume.
  • Locate possible jobs.
  • Complete the application process.
  • Prepare for a job interview.
  • Access appropriate training.

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.

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Programs and Services

Build Dakota Scholarships for high demand/high wage career fields.

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.

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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:

  • Create a professional profile.
  • Choose how you want employers to contact you.
  • Choose to remain anonymous and get information about employer interest in their resumes indirectly through the DLR local offices.
  • Access other services such as creating multiple resumes and other web resources.
  • Use a "scout" feature which allows you to
    • configure and save an automatic search based on criteria you choose.
    • automatically run those searches again at times you choose.
    • to email search results directly to you.

    (Note: You must register with SDWORKS to use this feature.)

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Resource Room

Each local office has a resource room available for job search-related use, including:

  • Computers
  • Internet access
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • Fax machines
  • Telephone
  • Library of job-related information, including videos, booklets and brochures
  • Tutorials with topics ranging from resume writing to keyboarding skills

Other Resources

Use, 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 rack card (in Adobe .pdf format*) for more information.

Check out the Occupational Profiles: High-Demand, High-Wage (in Adobe .pdf format*) and other information available on the Department of Labor and Regulation's Targeted Occupations.

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.

Find jobs and career resources at, provided by the National Labor Exchange. For jobs in South Dakota, visit

Download the Job Seeker Services brochure in Adobe .pdf format*.

U.S. DOL "Soft Skills" Video Vignettes

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
Kneip Building
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Phone: 605.773.3101
Fax: 605.773.4211

*Opening and printing Adobe .pdf files requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here as needed to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Marcia Hultman, Secretary
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Tel. 605.773.3101
Fax. 605.773.6184