Last May I had a parent reach out to me about recruitment. As we got to know each other better she mentioned that her daughter wasn’t going through recruitment until August 2013 and did I think she was starting preparations too soon? My advice to her…never too soon to prepare for recruitment… especially if you are going through at a very competitive campus.
I got to thinking about a time line for recruitment preparation and thought I might share it with you. So get out those planners..you’re going to need to add some dates. WAIT!!! Better yet get in the car and go buy a planner….a really cute one, maybe a Lilly????
It needs to be your “recruitment” planner and organizer. A place to put all of the mailings that will come as well as any notes, addresses, phone numbers, just a place that will hold everything you need on recruitment. You might even get one that has some sort of pockets in it to keep items in. If you are feeling crafty then you can make your own planner. Check out stores like Paper Source or hop on Pinterest for some great planner creating ideas!
If you are a JUNIOR (or even a SENIOR) and know that your college experience is going to include going Greek now is a great time to look at your volunteer/philanthropy history. When looking at resumes sororities key in on certain areas and one is Philanthropy. Remember each sorority has its own philanthropy that it works with. Usually members are required to do some sort of philanthropy related service project at least once a semester. So it just makes sense that when looking for a great PNM one thing sororities look at is the “who, what, and when” of their philanthropic activities.
So let’s look at the “who” of your volunteer section. What I mean is what organizations did you volunteer for? Were they large national organizations that were related to a one time thing at school? Maybe you had to fill grocery sacks for Harvesters at Thanksgiving because it was something your cheerleading squad decided to do. Maybe you volunteered for a local organization that isn’t well known but you volunteered regularly. Make sure when listing the names of “who” you volunteered for to put the whole name. You can even list small volunteering jobs for individuals.
So “what” did you do when volunteering? I don’t mean a detailed description but a short line or a few words to describe what exactly you did or what position you held. For example if you volunteered for Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure and was at the check in table put …Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure Check-in Table volunteer. If you were the head of the check-in table then add the word “coordinator”. By adding that one little word it makes it sound like you are now someone who can lead others…now that’s a skill a sorority is looking for. I’m not telling you to lie about what you did but by wording it correctly there are ways to make a very simple volunteer position sound much more important and glamorous.
“When” did the volunteer activities take place. Yep…you need to write the dates, actually just he year works or you can do the month and the year. Sororities are looking for individuals who get involved and stick with what they become involved with. So if you did Race for the Cure for four years in a row then write Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure Volunteer Coordinator August 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. What if you did different jobs each year then list them as sub headings under the main heading of Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. let’s go back up to stuffing bags of groceries for Harvesters with the cheerleading squad. Even though you only did it 1 year and I know..it’s still volunteering, if it’s what we call “one and done”, it doesn’t carry a lot of clout. In fact it sends a message to the sorority that maybe, just maybe they will become a “one and done” as well. You will try them out for a while and if they aren’t something you are interested in you will just quit. Here me loudly ladies..YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEND THIS MESSAGE!!!!! However if you volunteered for a local agency once a month, every month, even though it’s not well know the fact that you were there every month for a continuous period of time is going to peek the interest of a sorority. They are going to get the message that you stick with projects and activities you join and so you will stick with the sorority as well.
I will just put this idea out there for you to think about….have you ever thought about starting your own charity or volunteer organization?? This get you the double bonus points on a sorority resume…I can hear the bells and whistle going off even as I type this. Think about this for a minute….if a small child can start “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” then why can’t you start your own charity as well. It might be just simply organizing a group of friends to go into an elderly neighbor hood and do odd jobs one Saturday a month. You could call it “Rakes with a Cause”. Then you write on the resume Founder of “Rakes for a Cause” a philanthropic organization that does monthly clean up and odd jobs for the elderly of XYZ. The sorority radar will be focused on you. Not only DO you volunteer but have taken the initiative to invest yourself and your time to actually start an organization that YOU care about. This sends the message to the sorority the YOU will do the same for them. Many of the girls I have helped and written recommendations for have started their own charities. Some were small and local while others really jumped in with tremendous energy and vision to begin large projects that were spread over schools, school districts and even local cities. you know your capabilities and what you feel comfortable trying but this is a huge winner on a resume.
Let’s see what beside Philanthropy and volunteering can you tackle early on in the recruitment process. let’s get out the planner and turn it to September 1(that’s only 6 days away) and make a note to review your volunteer possibilities. An entry that says list philanthropy projects will work. Then on September 8 write check with local agencies for volunteer opportunities this fall…I’d even go so far as the list the web addresses of where you are going to check and also the phone numbers. It’s much easier to do if you have all the information you need right there at your fingertips as opposed to having to go and look it up.
I always tell girls to start to put together a sorority resume at the beginning of your Senior year. So make a notation somewhere in the first two weeks to make a trail run at a sorority resume. If you don’t know how to do one reach out to someone who can help you. Googling will get you an example. I have posted A LOT about how to do a resume. If you make a stab at it and want to reach out to me I will look at yours and help you get it in perfect condition. I can also send you some samples and would be more than happy to chat with you on the phone about the process…just send me an email!
Also in September you need to make a list of the sororities on the campus of the college or university you are attending and begin a list of possible women who would be willing to write recommendations for you as well as letters of support. If you don’t know where you are going yet but know you want to go Greek go ahead and just list all 26 sororities and start your list that way. You can find a list of all 26 sororities on the National Panhellenic Website https://www.npcwomen.org/index.aspx.
Ask everyone you know. A great place to start is at school. Ask all of the teachers you can, you’ll be amazed at how many have ben in a sorority or are married to someone who was in a sorority. Another great place is at church. Ask your parents to ask their co-workers. ASk grandparents to ask their friends.
Make sure when you find a rec write you get all their contact information. You want a minimum of 2 recs per house so when starting “the list” don’t worry if you have more than 2. I have found that once you actually start the process sometime a person now can’t help…always great to have reserves!!! Again the trust planner is a good place to store all of this information. You can even make goals and write them in. For example one goal might be to get 8 recs by September 30th.
One final September item is to schedule a visit to the college campus you are going to attend. When you schedule this visit make sure you contact Greek Life or Panhellenic and ask for a Greek tour. Many campuses have this where a member or two of a sorority will give you a tour of the sorority house or dorms or sorority areas. they usually introduce you to other Greek women and often will have lunch with you. This is a great way to get your name out there and to start making Greek connections. A word of warning…..be on your best behavior. This is the first impression that you will make on the Greek community and its members. If you are rude or disrespectful this will not go unnoticed. Trust me. I know a young woman who went on a campus visit and was bragging about how she was “talking” to a boy whose ex-girlfriend was in a sorority on campus. Turns out the ex=girlfriend’s best friend was the one giving the tour (she was a member of a different house than the ex). The PNM was dropped by that particular house as well as the ex’s house after the Round One parties. Be careful.
SO that brings me to October…and that’s where we will pick up tomorrow…hey…go get that planner!