It seems while I have been sitting in a beach chair for the last week lots of PNM’s across the country have been pushing the panic button! Ladies..it’s too early to panic yet!!!!
My inbox is filled with pleas for help finding recs. Most girls are just a few short but there have been a few girls who are just now getting started. Honestly…that’s who should be a little panicky….it’s kind of late but not undoable. You are going to have to really get going! As I have been harping for months now securing recs is a lengthy process.
First you have to ask everyone you know. Then you ask them to ask everyone they know. AS I have said before you will be AMAZED how many women are sorority alums. Most alums are more than willing to help. I have to tell you that they will be even more willing to help if You are organized and efficient. One of the keys to this is having the whole rec packet ready to go so as soon as the alum says “yes” it’s in their hands with ALL of the info they need to complete the recommendation.
I helped a girl this past week who was having trouble securing recs. when I looked at her sorority resume it was well…well it wasn’t really a resume at al. She was more than willing to rework it. We did..resent it and with in 24 hours she had 5 recs! It’s all about presentation….you have to have it all look professional and put together!
If you have exhausted you pool of potential rec writers then you turn to local alum chapters. Remember..you can google the sorority and add the words “alum chapter”. You are looking for some sort of email or contact. A nicely worded email detailing your situation should be sent. Make sure that you let the alum know that you are willing to meet with them in any way possible (in person, by skpe or phone call) so that they can “get to know you” better. You want them to feel comfortable writing the rec….it will be a better rec if it seems that the writer knows you.
You girls who are missing just a few recs..this is where you come in. Start with the local alum chapters as outlined above. If you don’t get a response you might re-look at your resume. Is it missing something? Does it look nice? Is it easy to read? If you want you can tweak it a little and resend it. If you still get no response then you have a couple of choices.
You can call the National headquarters of the sororities you are needing recs for. When you call simply explain that you have exhausted all possibilities for recommendations and was wondering if they had a list of alumnae women who are willing to write “blind” recs for girls who need them. Most national chapters have a list of these women. Make sure to let them know that you are willing to give them any information they might need (most will ask you to email them your resume and pics).
If you are still missing recs you can turn to the chapters in the state where you will be attending college and going through recruitment. Reaching out to these women can sometimes get a rec or two needed to finish off the list. Again…be polite and let them know you will send them ANYTHING they need to make them feel comfortable writing the rec.
DO NOT send blanket emails to alum groups. This is the quickest way to make sure that none of the sororities listed will write you a rec. DO NOT send an email to an alum without telling them where you got their contact info from. I know it sounds creepy to say you found their email on Facebook but if you follow that up with an explanation that you are going through recruitment at a super competitive school and you couldn’t find a rec for their particular sorority they will understand. In one case I know of an alum wrote a glowing rec for a girl she didn’t even know because she was so impressed with the PNM’s resourcefulness.
Finally remember that some women take this VERY seriously!!! They are writing a recommendation to endorse a young woman whom they do not know to join “their sisterhood”. As much as we see this process as a formality they see it as a binding together in a sisterhood for life. when my youngest went through we couldn’t find a particular rec for a particular sorority. Finally we creeped on the local alumnae chapter’s Facebook page and messaged several women. thankfully one woman responded and after spending quite a while on the phone with my daughter she wrote and sent a rec to her sorority. My daughter ended up pledging that sorority :). About a week after I return from Bid Day I received an email from the woman asking which house my daughter had pledged. when I told her the letters of her house she was over joyed. she told me she was proud to write her rec and was very glad to now call her “sister”. I understood what she meant. After writing hundreds of recs for young women there are many that I now can proudly call “sister” as well.
So…don’t push the panic button yet. Follow the guidelines of this post..you can do it!! I know you can!!!