Weekly business rail, with job-searching tips, a Better Business Bureau warning about free-trial offers and more.
Tip of the Week
Five unemployed people are competing for every job opening in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. How can talented workers stand out from the competition? Mark Gasche, vice president of career services for Colorado Technical University, offers these tips:
- Customize every cover letter and resume. Job postings always include specific qualifications or responsibilities. A cover letter should be just as specific (and error-free), with each job requirement addressed point by point with your relevant experience and skills.
- Take five: Get to know the organization from the inside out. Beyond researching the organization on the Internet, conduct five brief interviews with current employees at the company. You can find them through your social networking channels, referrals or colleagues.
- Identify and fill education gaps. During the job search, networking and interview processes, you may discover that further education is needed for your chosen profession or that you want to pursue new career opportunities that go beyond your current skill set.
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be wary of free-trial offers online for diet pills, work-at-home jobs and teeth whiteners among other products and services. In this year alone, BBB has received thousands of complaints from consumers across the country who thought they were getting a free trial but ended up losing often hundreds of dollars in recurring credit or debit card charges.
Ubiquitous deceptive online ads for “free trials” of various products and services can be found on popular sites like MSN.com, ESPN.com, and Weather.com. Often the ads link to websites of phony news outlets which, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, commonly feature the photo of a well-known French journalist — without her permission — under various names.
“Fighting deceptive free-trial offers online continues to be a game of whack-a-mole,” said Stephen A. Cox, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Just as soon as one company is put out of business it’s replaced by another with the same model of ripping consumers off under the guise of a no-risk free trial offer.”
For more information, go to www.bbb.org.
Here are the best states for business and careers, according to Forbes.com:
3. North Carolina
Number to Know
11: Percent drop in donations to charities last year, according to the Philanthropy 400 report.
Microsoft recently unveiled a cloud version of its Office programs and will offer the service next year under the name Office 365. It will be a subscription service. The cloud version means that the programs exist on the Internet only – the user doesn’t need to download any software.
GateHouse News Service