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Starting a Career

Getting your first job offer is very exciting, but can also be a little bit intimidating. Whether you’ve just graduated, or are making a career transition, make sure you’re prepared for the future with these tips and tricks.

Getting Your Foot in the Door

  • Build and keep an up-to-date resume; have several people edit it. Utilize free services, like the library, career services departments at your school, or online forums to bounce ideas and get feedback on making your resume stand out.
  • Join professional networks or alumni groups to get your name out there and to familiarize yourself with a given industry. Creating or updating a LinkedIn page, a social media website designed for the business community, is a great way to aid in networking and to show yourself off to prospective employers.
  • Set up informational interviews with companies or professionals you’re interested in. Be sure to dress for success, as it is the best way to make a great first impression and boost your confidence level.
  • Search for open positions on company sites like and career search sites like

Starting a New Job

  • A new job may bring you new benefits including things like medical, dental, and vision insurance. Benefits are a large expense and should be considered when comparing jobs and salaries. Deductibles (the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance provider covers expenses) and premiums (the amount your insurance provider charges you for coverage) may vary based on what your employer may cover and how much coverage you want to elect. Benefit premiums will likely come out of your paycheck before it hits your account; be sure to keep this in mind.
  • Transitioning into your new position may mean going out to lunch more often which can be an added expense you’re not prepared for. Your new job might also require a lot of sitting which may have an effect on your health. Make sure you adjust to the new lifestyle by budgeting properly and taking steps to maintain your health. Set money aside for food purchases and stick to your budget.
  • One of the best benefits you may receive is the option to contribute to a 401k which is a long-term retirement savings plan, or similar-type plan to begin saving for retirement. Some employers may even match all or a portion of what you contribute; those dollars can quickly add up to great savings for your future. Review the options and come up with a plan that works for you.

Getting off on the Right Foot

  • Set up direct deposit so your paychecks are always being deposited right away, saving you time from standing in line at the credit union. You may elect to split your funds so a portion is sent to various accounts; this is a great way to put money into savings without even noticing it.
  • Utilize a financial management tool, like FinanceWorksTM, to establish a budget based on your current spending habits. What you spend in this new phase of life may vary drastically from what you are used to.
  • Pay your bills the hassle-free way during this transition by setting up Online Bill Pay. You might be managing your own finances with additional bills to pay. Using online bill pay gives you less to manage and reduces your chances of being charged a late fee. You'll also save money on postage!
  • During this transition you might be traveling more and you’ll need to manage your finances wherever life takes you. Use our Mobile Banking options so you may bank with us on-the-go. Download our mobile app or set up text banking to easily pay bills, transfer money or view balances at the touch of a button.
  • Now that life took you in a new direction, you might be thinking about investing. Utilize US Federal CU Advisors for advice on investment and insurance options. They may even be able to guide you through your 401k plan.

Student Loans

  • If you took out student loans, repayment begins six months after graduation; make sure you have a payment plan in place. There are many options for repayment that you may look into.
  • You may qualify to defer your payment, or postpone it, if you are unemployed or are pursuing post-secondary school or a graduate program. You might also qualify if you are in the armed forces.
  • Avoid defaulting (failing to make a scheduled payment) as you may be charged high penalty fees and your credit score may be lowered. This may make it more difficult and expensive to get a loan in the future.
  • Visit to learn more about Federal Student Aid, loan interest rates, government policies and grant applications.

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US FEDERAL CREDIT UNION | 1400 Riverwood Drive, Burnsville MN 55337 | 1 800-345-2733 | (952) 736-5000 | All Content © 2012 | privacy & disclosures
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