Weekly business rail, with tips to kick-start your career, a BBB warning about buy-back offers and more.

Tip of the Week

Kick-starting a new career in this challenging economy won't be easy, as graduates from the classes of 2011, 2010 and 2009 have learned. But with a little determination and preparation, college students can increase their odds of landing a job right out of school and laying a foundation for future success. Here are some tips from FindLaw.com on what college students should do now to prepare to land the job of their dreams right out of school:

- Don't embellish your resume. Compiling a resume is the first step to finding a job - or even an internship while you're attending college. Go to the job placement center at your college or university to get tips on how to write an effective resume. But take heed: Exaggerating accomplishments on your resume will more often end up hurting you than helping you. Companies have become more sophisticated in conducting background and reference checks through job application forms and resumes. Instead, focus on using keywords and figures to highlight your strengths and to demonstrate increasing levels of responsibility.

- Watch what you post online. Savvy employers use the Internet, including social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter, to not only scout new talent but to determine if you'll be a good fit for their organization. When posting online, avoid foul language, inappropriate pictures, lewd jokes, and references to drug abuse and excessive alcohol consumption. Avoid posting offensive statuses, and limit the number of posts on Facebook and other online forums. Too many postings on Facebook or Twitter says you're spending too much time on social networking sites rather than on your studies.

- Build a work history. Most employers want to see job candidates who are building a track record of successful employment - taking on roles that increase in responsibility from one job to the next. Employers want to see results and accomplishments, especially as it relates to your field of interest. To get the experience needed to land the job of your dreams, college students and those just out of college may need to take jobs or internships that may not pay as much as they would like. You should also consider volunteering with non-profit organizations in order to gain critical skills. If you're entering your junior year in college, it is not too soon to be seeking internships in the profession or industry that you're interested in working in.

- Good references. If you left your previous job in good standing, your old boss is more likely to give you a good reference. The better the reference, the more likely you'll get that job you're applying for. Former coworkers can often make for good references as well. It's important to stay in touch with previous employers and co-workers who can serve as references for future employment. In addition to on-the-job references, professors and coaches at your college can serve as references.

- ARA

BBB Watch

Today's technology is constantly being updated with models showcasing newer, faster features. To keep up with the latest tech-trend, many consumers are tempted by retailer buy-back programs. The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to weigh the pros and cons of these programs before parting with their money.

Typical buy-back programs come in the form of a one-time fee required at the time of the original purchase. To avoid falling behind the latest technology, consumers opt in to these programs to ensure their gadget doesn't go stale. As long as it's in good condition, many buy-back programs allow you to trade up items such as your cellphone, laptop, tablet, and television for a percentage of its current value. Usually this credit will come in the form of a gift card that may be used toward the purchase of a newer model.

"If you are an individual that likes to say on top of the latest technology, a buy-back program may be for you," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau. "However, as with anything else, you will need to do your research to find out if the program is worth the cost."

For more tips, visit www.bbb.org.

The List

According to PCMag.com, here are this year’s top HDTVs:

- LG Infinia 47LW5600
- Samsung PN51D8000
- Sony KDL-46EX720
- Vizio XVT3D650SV

Number to Know

27 percent: According to a Reuters survey performed by America's Research Group, 27 percent of people said they will spend less this holiday season than last year. About 55 percent will spend the same amount.

Tech Talk

A survey by the London Science Museum found that people would rather give up plumbing than Facebook. Here are the top things respondents would NOT want to give up:

1. Sunshine
2. Internet connection
3. Clean drinking water
4. Fridge
5. Facebook

GateHouse News Service