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quarta-feira, 13 de julho de 2011

Organize, Organize, Organize This is how you do it, once and for all

Recently, I had a one-on-one with Lisa Montanaro, a certified professional organizer and business and life coach as well as author of the upcoming book The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life. Montanaro combines a lifelong passion for creating order with her skills gained as a lawyer, educator and performer to enact positive, proactive change that I find to be both extremely helpful as well as motivational. And, right about now I could use some motivation to get it together and feel more organized. 
What is the first thing someone should do to get more organized at home? At the office?
First, ask yourself if the current systems are really working. Unless your current systems are 75% or more effective, start from scratch and set up systems that truly work! Ask yourself how frustrated you are with your physical surroundings, your inability to manage time, and the clutter in your life.  If something is really bothering you, chances are you'll know it.
While there are general organizing principles, there is no "cookie cutter" solution to getting organized. Don't let that depress you. Quite the contrary. It should give you hope. For an organizing system to stick, it must be built around your personality type, work style, physical environment, and needs and goals. So, be sure to tailor everything to make it work for you. Yes, you should use the general organizing principles, but always in a way that is personal and authentic to you. 
There are an ever-increasing number of products and services designed to help a person get organized. First, however, you must determine the areas in which you want to improve, known as your organizing goals. These might be filing, clutter control, time management, maximization of storage space or juggling projects and priorities. Once you have a handle on your organizing goals, you can slowly and methodically tackle each organizing project. Take it slow, or you are bound to get overwhelmed.
How do you keep the organizing momentum going?
Organizing is a way of life that requires maintenance and ongoing effort until it becomes second nature. Integrate a daily and periodic maintenance program into your routine, but keep it simple. 
You've heard the old adage, "A place for everything and everything in its place." Well, it goes a long way if your goal is to maintain organizing systems. Put things away at the end of each day at home, and at the office. If you start something, complete it if possible. If not, put the project items off to the side so that they do not become clutter in your way. If you use up the last of an item in the house, replenish it (at work, give notice to whoever stocks the supply cabinet). If you open something, close it. If you take something out to use it, put it away when you are done. Make this "finish it" policy a rule that that all users of the organizing systems follow. 
What do you do if you find yourself slipping back into old habits?
In organizing lingo, we refer to slipping back into old habits as "backsliding." Just like any behavior modification program (weight loss, smoking cessation, etc.), you should not strive for perfection. Why? Well, for one, this may be an unattainable goal, even for a certified professional organizer! Life is messy and unpredictable, made up of constant transitions and changes, all of which make it difficult to be perfectly organized at every moment. Strive for being well organized most of the time. Remember that being organized is the means to help you live a fruitful, high functioning, meaningful life. It is not the goal in and of itself. 
Want to maintain an organizing system? 15 minutes a day keeps clutter at bay! Once you've created an organizing system that works, take 15 minutes a day to keep it that way. If it needs much longer than that, chances are it is too complex of a system, or you are still in backlog mode with too much clutter. If so, then you need to focus on continuing to declutter and setting up simple, user-friendly organizing systems. Schedule in a recurring appointment on your calendar that prompts you to do 15 minutes per day of maintenance of organizing systems at home and at work.
What do you do with the stuff your kids leave behind when they go off to college or their first apartment/house? Is there a proper way to tell them to get their junk out of the house?
This is a common problem we are seeing now with kids leaving behind their childhood possessions and never coming back to reclaim them. First, ask yourself if your kid is the one that can't let go of these items, or you. Often, it is the parents that hold onto the kids' possessions and are attached to them emotionally. If so, acknowledge that, and determine how much you can eliminate. Only hold onto the items that are truly important to you. 
If it is your son or daughter that can't let go, have him or her go through the items and take what is important or will serve him or her in this stage of life. You may have to box things up and ship them if they live far away, or box them up and out into storage at home or elsewhere. One tip: set an expiration date. If your son or daughter does not come and sift through the items by a certain date, you will either donate the items, ship them to him or her, or take some other action. The key though is to stick to the deadline with no guilt! Their clutter shouldn't become your clutter unless you truly want it to. And if you do, it should take its place of honor in your "memory box" and not be in hiding.
What do you do at home to stay organized? What does your home and/or home office look like?
Many clients ask me, "What do you do?"  I invariably reply that what I do is irrelevant.  Sure, I often share my personal organizing systems with clients, otherwise known as the "secrets of a professional organizer."  I also share tried-and-true systems I have successfully used with hundreds of clients, as well as tips and tools of the trade.  However, the key to whether a system will be maintained almost always lies in how customized it is, whether the client is an individual or an organization. The system has to make sense to you.
However, I do practice what I preach. My home and office are organized. I happen to have a low tolerance for clutter so I keep my horizontal surfaces clear, and maintain organizing systems that keep the clutter at bay. I probably do not have as many possessions as the average American, but I do not live a completely minimalist existence either. The key is constant vigilance.  I don't walk around with my organizing cap on at all times, incessantly obsessing over everything. But, I am efficient and action-oriented and, therefore, very productive. 
I know that our society has a love affair with paper, but I try not to let paper take over my home office. I use technology to my advantage, shredding and scanning as needed, storing items on my computer and in the cloud, and only filing what is absolutely necessary to retrieve again in hard-copy form, which is approximately 20% of what most people file. This allows me to have only a few small filing cabinets in my home office. I also had the closet in my home office converted to all shelving, so I can store business and office supplies in there and close the door, which helps to maintain the clean and streamlined look I crave. My home office has red painted walls, and black painted wooden furniture, with framed black-and-white photos of Europe that my husband took on our travels. I love it! And when you love the look of a space, you tend to keep it more organized.
I also choose to live in a modestly sized home. It is not teeny-tiny, but it is not a McMansion by any means. It has enough square footage to live comfortably without a lot of wasted space. We tend to fill up space if given to us, so I try not to have too much extra space to begin with.
For me, staying organized is the key to living a balanced, fulfilling, and more peaceful life. If someone came to my home, they would see that it has possessions I love and enjoy, without a lot of extraneous "stuff." I try to let the cream rise to the top so I am surrounded by the things I love, need, and use often.
If you meet someone at a party and they beg for one piece of organizing advice, what do you say?
Getting organized is about making progress, not achieving perfection. Don't be daunted by the prospect of getting organized. Just take it one step at a time. You'll have more chance of success if you break the overall project into manageable tasks, tackling a little bit at a time. The key is to get started and stay focused. You can do it!


I’ve been working on cutting down my “senior moments," and in my reading found that the The Mayo Clinic and aging expert Helen Dennis have suggestions to help us keep our memory honed.
JANUARY 28, 2011
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3. Get organized.

I started practicing this some years back when I realized that if I didn't have one specific place that I always put my keys, I might never find them. They also suggest something I do, which is that when you put something into your calendar, say it out loud to help you remember it better. I'm also a big fan of Post-It notes, and of making lists and checking things off.

It’s Never Too Late to Follow Your Dream

On Wednesday night, NBC aired America's Got Talent, and we met a singer named Cindy Chang.
At 42, Cindy is an unlikely up-and-coming talent. A housewife from Houston, she was nervous and giggling as she said that she had always wanted to be a singer, but that her parents told her she wasn't good enough.
And then she closed her eyes, gathered herself, and began to sing. The audience, including me watching at home, was stunned, because her operatic voice is amazing, rich and sure and distinctive.
People rose to their feet, including tough judge Piers Morgan, who said her parents hopefully now know they made a mistake.
It's not the first time we've seen a story like this.
In 2009, 48-year-old Susan Boyle, a shy and not-so-polished homebody became a global phenomenon when she was discovered on Britain's Got Talent. Her previous experience was singing in the church choir and karaoke, as she looked for a break but was stopped because she didn't have the look expected of female entertainers.
Cindy Chang and Susan Boyle are not alone in having put a dream aside because someone told her she couldn't do it. It happens all the time. They are unusual because they kept taking action on their dream, though, and that's why we know who they are today.
There are lessons here for all of us.
I often speak to young people about choosing their career direction. There are two things I want them to know so they can stay focused on what they are meant to do.
First, I tell them that the perfect career is at the intersection of what you love, and what you're good at.
Cindy Chang shared that she only started voice lessons in her 20s. She always knew she loved to sing, and she also knew that her next step is to learn her craft, and the technical side of singing. She had the talent, but continued to work to make herself good at the thing she loves to do.
Susan Boyle did the same, honing and polishing her voice in her parish church, and sending out demos looking for a break. She knew that singing was her talent and her love.
Second, I tell young people that we have to learn to listen to ourselves, and to follow our own desires and inspirations, rather than letting a parent or authority figure chart our course for us.
Parents mean well, but they have their own view of the world and what's possible, and it's hard for many parents (including me) to see the possibilities that are available to their kids.
I'm sure that Cindy Chang's parents loved her very much, but from their perspective, all they saw were limitations, and taking on their limits was what kept her from finding her path earlier.
The lesson here is two-fold.
1. It's never too late to express your talents, even if you've been hiding your light under a barrel for a long time. Want to paint? Go for it. Think you can dance? Give that a try too. Always wanted to write a book? Start it now.
2. And if you're a parent, encourage your kids to do whatever it is that they want to do, even if you think they can't. Because you just might be as wrong as Cindy Chang's parents turned out to be.
We all know what we love. It just takes some guts to actually do it sometimes. So be a cheerleader for yourself in giving it a shot, and be there to encourage others to do the same.
Otherwise, the world might never get to see who you really are, and that would be a shame.

11 Executive Resume Blunders An executive recruiter’s insights into reasons your resume gets passed over.

As an executive recruiter, I read a hundred resumes or more every week, and a lot of that time is spent muttering to myself "Are you kidding me?" It's mind-boggling how many of the resumes I receive make some very simple mistakes that put the candidate out of the running before they even got started.
A sloppy, incomplete or unprofessional resume represents you as a sloppy, lazy or unprofessional candidate, sort of like showing up to an interview in clothes that are torn, stained and inappropriate. You'd think senior executives would know better but in fact, many of the worst resumes I see are from people from top management.
The good  news is that it's easy to have your resume stand out in this sea of mediocrity. Here are some of the ways these bad resumes fall short, and what you can do to avoid the fate of having your resume passed over.
1. Lack of a positioning statement.
Don't make me try to figure out what kind of job you're going after. Tell me what you do and what you want by using a brief positioning statement at the top of your resume. A bold headline that says "CEO/COO with Web 2.0 and Emerging Technology Experience" lets me know exactly what you are, while a long rambling paragraph or table (often ironically titled "short summary of experience") filled with business buzzwords makes you sound old-fashioned and unfocused.
Boil it down and position yourself with your expertise from the very first words.
2. The wrong positioning statement.
Of course, if I'm looking for a chief marketing officer from the pharmaceutical world, a headline saying you are a CEO/COO might put you out of the running, even if you had the marketing background. Don't send a resume aimed at being a doctor if the job is for a lawyer. Take the time to customize your presentation for each job. I get resumes all the time that go on and on about their experience in an industry that has nothing to do with the job they've applied for. Why waste your time and mine?
3. Saying things in the cover note not supported in the resume.
One of the worst phrases you can utter is "It's not on my resume, but..." You must revise your resume every time to position yourself to match the checklist of the posting. We told you what we're looking for – so all you have to do is highlight those things in your resume so we can quickly see how you fit the bill.
4. No company descriptions.
Your resume is a story about you, and understanding what the companies you have worked for actually do is a big part of that story. Don't make me go to Google to find out what ABC Company did, what products they sell, and what markets they serve. Incorporate that information into your resume. Adding the company URL as a link is appreciated, too.
5. Poorly written.
Resumes have their own kind of language, and a lot of people have a problem writing clearly in a resume format. Make sure your resume tells your story in a way that is easy to read and to understand. Avoid trying to impress with overly complex business gibberish. To see if each sentence works, read it aloud. If you sound like a robot, try it in simple English.
6. Written in the third person.
I get resumes all the time that say "Mr. So-and-so has been a visionary leader for 25 years." That's just weird. Your resume is your presentation of your background, not a press release, article or corporate bio. Third-person writing doesn't make you sound more important; it just makes the document feel less personal, and that's not good.
7. Badly formatted.
I see resumes with huge type that run to eight pages, and I see resumes with hundreds of unreadable technical terms in tiny text squeezed into a page with no margins and no space between the lines or paragraphs. Both of these are less than readable.
Your resume layout must allow people to skim and scan and isolate certain types of information easily. Use a font, paragraph and line spacing that make it easy to read and absorb the information. If you don't know how to design a beautiful resume, find one you like and copy the formatting exactly or get outside help.
8. Trying to do it yourself.
Sending an ugly typo-laden mess to represent your fit for a leadership role just doesn't make sense. No one expects a CEO or senior executive to be able to create perfect marketing materials on their own, but we do expect that you care about the quality of communications you put out. A leader knows their limitations and when to ask for help.
If you don't know how to create an elegant well-organized document in MS Word, your resume will be ugly, I guarantee it. So get some assistance and do it right. It's the difference between getting overlooked or getting interviewed.
9. Not enough focus on accomplishments.
Every resume should highlight what you accomplished rather than just listing a dry task-oriented job description. This goes double if you're an executive, because it's the results of your leadership that say the most about your abilities. Give numbers and statistics, but tell the story of your wins in sentences with context, not just as dry bullets. The higher your level, the more bottom-line accomplishments people want to see.
10. Too much information.
A resume is a topline summary, not a blow-by-blow account of the minutia of your career. Boil it down, and keep it two pages or less. Yes, you can do that. The higher your level, the more big-picture your descriptions should be. Focus on the essence and challenges of your jobs. If you have lists of publications, patents or presentations, just include the most impressive and put the rest into another document that you can share later in the process.
11. Weird capitalization, punctuation, misspellings or grammatical errors.
I got a resume the other day that mentioned "the World's largest supply chain." Um, no, world is not a proper noun. In doubt about capitalization? will tell you what you need to know. Perfection in your resume is doubly important for a senior executive, so enlist help from nitpicking people you know before sending it out. That goes double if English is not your native language.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you have a great resume, and that you tailor it for each position. If a job is worth applying for, then it's worth taking your time to create the resume that will get you the interview.

Six Quick Tips to Bring Your Resume into the 21st Century An old-fashioned resume just might cost you the job.

Resume styles definitely trend like fashion and evolve with technology. When I started as a recruiter thirty years ago, resumes were typed on the Selectric typewriter, in one of a couple of fonts that came on little rotating balls you snapped in, and photocopies were made at the local copy center. Word processing opened up the possibilities of customizing a resume for different jobs, and doing better layouts, and computers created the world of digital documents and email, when we saw a surge of fancy design elements as resumes evolved.
Today, the best resumes are clean, clear, modern and conversational, and most important, they reflect the human being who is behind the document. Here are six ways to give your resume a quick makeover.
  1. Change the font. Nothing screams old-fashioned louder than a serif font like Courier or Times Roman. These typefaces have a sense of seriousness about them that is the last thing you want when you're trying to convince someone that there is a great, up-to-date and lively person behind this resume. Better to use a clean sans serif font like Arial or Tahoma, or something a little more elegant and sleek like Century Gothic, which is my current favorite. And do not, I repeat DO NOT, use some cheesy script or fancy type. Keep it clean and elegant, just make it more modern. Changing the font is an instant makeover. And while you're at it, make sure you're aligning things properly. If you don't know how to use indents and tabs to line up blocks of text, ask someone who does.
  2. Get rid of the objective. Starting off with a tightly worded objective used to be the norm, but over the past few years the heading has been replaced with a positioning statement or perhaps some job titles that tell the reader exactly what kind of person this resume belongs to. I love that resumes have evolved this way, because as a recruiter, it's much more helpful to see "Online Advertising Sales Executive" than to read a long convoluted sentence like "Objective: To apply my years of sales expertise in a dynamic environment for a growing company where I can expand and contribute to the bottom line and gain new skills." That is just meaningless, but the first one tells me what you are, and that's what I needed to know, thanks.
  3. Use plain English and tell your story. Take a look at the language in your resume, which, as we both know, probably still has the structure and wording that you started with many years and jobs ago, right? It's no longer in style to use dry corporate-speak when talking about work. Your resume is a story about you, so tell it in plain English, using sentences. Write like you talk. The best test if you can read it out loud and it flows and makes sense. The easiest way to write so it sounds natural it is to imagine that you're talking to someone. This is also the perfect time to get rid of all those bullets that have been in fashion for so long; they sound choppy as we read them, so use them sparingly for highlighting an accomplishment or two in each job.
  4. Include your LinkedIn profile link. After I review a candidate's resume, the next thing I do is find their LinkedIn profile. I'm looking for consistency with their resume, for how many connections they have, and for what kind of recommendations people have written for them. And yes, I confess that I like when there is a photo there, a picture being worth a thousand words and all that. But LinkedIn is a big place, and there are many people with the same name, so when you include your link, it saves time and shows that you know how the game is played nowadays.
  5. Delete those old jobs from more than 10-15 years ago. Some resume coaches say don't go back more than ten years, but your work experience might need more time to make sense, and might need 20 years if you're very senior. But weed out the old stuff that doesn't matter any more, like that job selling insurance you had when you were 18 or the first career you had as a mechanic. If it's not germane to the job at hand, and isn't important in your story, just drop it off entirely, since jobs from too long ago can make you look old and old-fashioned.
  6. Write your resume with key words in mind. Chances are that your resume will be put into some kind of candidate tracking or search software somewhere, or that you'll post it up on a board like Monster or The Ladders, and that means it needs to come up in searches. Make sure to use the key words people will be searching for, including their variations, when you talk about your experience. Think like the recruiter, searching for the perfect candidate… imagine what they might type into the search box, and make sure those words are found in your resume.
With these changes, a stilted old-fashioned resume can transform quickly into an appealing and energetic representation of you, and that will help it do its job, which is to make you look like such a good candidate, the reader finds themselves looking forward to interviewing you.  

Why Your Resume Really Is That Important

I was just reading the Wall Street Journal' website, which featured an article listing ten of the worst things you can put on your resume. It's a very good list, but what most struck me was a comment from an anonymous reader:
"A word for recruiters: it's not a resume writing contest. You're trying to find the right person, not the best resume writer."
I'm responding here, since I wanted to explain more in depth. I feel the frustration in those words, but like it or not, your resume really does matter, and for very valid reasons.
To a recruiter, your resume and cover note is our first experience of you, and if we don't see what we're looking for, then it will be our last experience of you, too. We may have dozens or even hundreds, of resumes that need to be sorted and reviewed, and not much time to do it, so we rely on the resume and cover note you give us to do the first cut, which works great because there are things we can easily tell about you from your resume.
Sloppiness tells us you can't produce perfect work even when your livelihood depends on it.
Your resume is the brochure you're giving me to sell yourself, and if it's a mess, then I have to assume that creating (or overseeing the creation of) high quality documents is not high on your priority list.
We can see if you know how to use your computer's software.
I see resumes all the time that list MS Office as a skill, yet the document doesn't even use proper formatting for tabs, indents, underlines or borders. That tells me that the person is either overestimating their ability or their standards are low. This might be less important for a chef or plumber, but for anyone whose job requires them to produce or oversee documents or presentations, it matters big time. (And I guarantee that if you are a chef or a plumber, a great resume will set you head and shoulders above your competition.)
The writing in your resume shows us how well you communicate.
I know resumes are challenging because they are written in a style that's different than anything else, but how well you put words together in your cover note and resume are a good indicator of how well you'll put words together on the job.
We can see whether you know when to ask for help.
Obviously, not all jobs require that you be a power user of word processing, but all jobs need you to know when to enlist the right help for things you don't know how to do.
When I see poorly formatted CEO or VP resume, I know that that person either doesn't know what a quality document should look like (which is a real liability with my clients who are startup companies where you have to do things yourself), and/or the person thinks it doesn't matter. This one stumps me; you wouldn't cut your own hair, or sew your own suit for the interview, would you? Your resume deserves a professional touch, too.
The accuracy of your resume is an indicator of the accuracy of your work.
People who aim for perfection in their work don't send out resumes with typos, misspellings, grammatical errors and weird formatting; if you do, you can expect to go right into the "no" file. This is most important for people whose jobs require them to oversee document production in any way, and for people whose jobs require great attention to detail, like accountants or editors, but anyone who is hiring is going to care about your accuracy.
How you tell your story shows how clearly you think.
A five-page resume filled with minutia, lists of disorganized bullets and too much information tells me this person isn't a clear linear thinker, and is not able to boil their thoughts down into well-organized form. A sleek resume, where the data is organized in an easy-to-read and easy-to-digest way, gives me confidence in that person's ability to communicate.
The side of your experience that your resume presents tells me whether you are able to pay attention and adapt to different situations.
If I post for a VP of Business Development and you send me a resume that says you're looking for an accounting position, with a cover letter that tells me what a great accountant you are, I must conclude that you either aren't paying attention to what I asked for, or you are unable to adapt how you present yourself for different situations. Either way, there is no way you'll be getting that interview.
How you describe your jobs tells me whether you're a big-picture results-oriented leader or a task-oriented worker.
The level of how you describe your work is indicative of the level of your role. A six-page resume listing every job responsibility in nitty-gritty detail is the mark of someone who is task and process-oriented. A brief topline resume that summarizes the target goals of positions from a high perspective and the results is the mark of a senior leader whose focus is more on what needs to be done than on the details of how to do it.
A great resume is a your most powerful job search tool. It can position you in the way you want to be seen, it will get you more responses, for better jobs, and will even get you more money too. It influences how you are perceived, and can have readers convinced you're the right one for the job before they even meet you.
A great resume will also make you feel confident about who you are and what you're offering, and put new energy into your job search. To top it off, a strong resume will guide your interviewers' questions so interviews will focus on your strengths.
Yes, a great resume really is that important, so instead of seeing it as a contest about who writes the best resume, see it as your opportunity to show how you shine.

Your Resume: 15 Seconds to Get My Attention

Did you know that your resume is probably going to be scanned for a mere 10 to 15 seconds?
According to a topic on LinkedIn, many recruiters in different industries and countries agree that a first cut is done very quickly, and 10 to 15 seconds was the most common response.
I'm with them. In 15 seconds, I can see what I need to decide if you are out of the running. I'm looking at where you've worked, what you did there and how it correlates to the needs of the job I'm trying to fill.
For just 15 seconds, I'm scanning and comparing. If I don't see what I want, it's a no.
This is just my first cut, of course, and later reviews will take much longer, but if you're out of the running in those first seconds, that won't matter.
Fifteen seconds seems unfair, doesn't it?
After all, isn't a recruiter's job to find the potential in people and to figure out where they will fit best?
Well, actually, no.
A recruiter's job is to find the best possible candidate in the least possible time. We like it to be a no-brainer, as perfect a fit as possible, and that generally means someone who's done that job before, ideally in a similar company.
We don't like to be too creative. Our clients don't like us to be too creative, either. They want us to find the perfect person.
And the easier you make it for us to see why you have what it takes to be the perfect person, the faster you get onto the short list.
Here are some tips for how your resume can make a strong impression in 15 or 20 seconds:
1.   Always include a cover note.
Make it short and sweet (cover letters get even less time than resumes), but a couple of sentences on why your background fits the requirements can set a positive expectation before I even see your resume. Don't use cut-and-paste cover notes. They're boring and overworked.
2.   Design your resume with white space and consistent formatting.
Recruiters are scanning, not reading, and that means you need to use formatting to make it easier for the eye to pick out key information. You could put company names in all caps, job titles in bold, and accomplishments in bullets, for instance. The more attractive it is, and the easier to read it is, the better.
3.    Always put a positioning statement or job title at the top.
I don't want to have to figure out what you're looking for, and I might get it wrong. So just tell me. You're selling your expertise, remember, so put that first. Your employment history is just evidence of how you use your expertise.
4.    Speak English.
Dense resumes filled with buzzwords, acronyms and corporate-speak are boring. You want to hold attention, not lose it, so just use plain English.
5.    Check your spelling and punctuation.
The further you are from the perfect candidate profile, the more likely that a typo or punctuation error will put you out of contention.
6.    Tell your story.
Don't just recite your responsibilities. Tell me what your employers did. Tell me something about the situation you worked in, and what you learned and accomplished. Give it some life.
7.    Only apply to jobs you're qualified for.
That shot in the dark is not going to land you a great job, and it wastes the time you should be spending preparing to apply to the jobs you're actually going to get. Focusing on the right jobs will show in how you present yourself.
8.    Customize your resume for every job.
A job posting or description tells you what we're looking for, so take a few minutes and revise your resume so it's easy to see that you fit the description. Every job has key words that describe it and the experience you need, so put those into your resume so it's easy to find it. Don't parrot the words exactly, but echo it and show us what we need to see.
I can't guarantee you'll always get the interview, but I can guarantee that if you do these things, you're much more likely to at least get more than fifteen seconds of the recruiter's time.

9 Lessons From Successful Brands on Twitter

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable, a social media agency that has worked with more than 200 leading brands including, Verizon and Neutrogena. He is author ofLikeable Social Media.
Brands are beginning to establish best practices for communicating with their customers and prospects on Facebook. But many of those same brands with largeFacebook fan bases have smaller Twitter followings or none at all.
With more than 300 million user accounts, Twitter has become an important network for companies to leverage in their communication plans.
Below are nine brands that have found success on Twitter along with takeaway lessons on what they do right and how you can emulate their success.
These nine brands all demonstrate worthwhile lessons in Twitter marketing and engagement. What are your favorite brands doing on Twitter? And what other lessons have you learned? Let us know in the comments below.