Recruitment….just the preparation process its self can be a crazy stressful time so I thought a few tips on how to make the preparation a little easier would be in order.

First of all..START EARLY…I know I know..I have been harping on this for several weeks but to do this right, get the results you want and to not be stressed out you really do need to start now.

ORGANIZATION is the key.  There are many different organization techniques that work for lots of different’s a few suggestions :).

Color coding.  AS you have already started stalking potential recommendation writers one way to make sure that you keep all the different sorority rec packets separate and accounted for is to color code them.  Make a master list of each sorority on campus.  Assign each a color or pattern.  Now..get some file folders and in the header spot put that sorority in its assigned color.  EVERYTHING pertaining to recommendations for THAT sorority goes in that folder.  You can even go as far as to make the recommendation writers names that matching color.  Thank you notes, resumes ect all can be coordinated to that color as well.  When you get ready to put your rec packets together you can label them using this same color coding method.  It just makes it so much easier to see what you’ve got, what you need and an organized way to file things away as needed.

I am a very visual person. I need to “see” things in order to understand them.  In addition if it’s in my sight them I am less likely to forget it.  When our youngest daughter was going through recruitment we used this organization trick. I went to the local stationery store and bought one of those generic desk calendars.  We color coded all the sororities by Sharpie markers and listed them across the top. We also had a color just for recruitment in general.  We went through and listed every recruitment event, deadline..anything that had to recruitment at all on the calendar. As we got together people who would write us recs we color coded them to match their sorority color and then wrote their name and contact info on the date of the calendar that we found them, or the date they said they would write the rec.  We listed EVERYTHING on those big calendar pages…when we sent emails asking for recs, when we sent out rec packets, when the rec was mailed (as per the writer), when we shopped for dress, pre-recruitment events, when invites for those events arrived.  I even went a step farther by tearing off the calendar pages, taping them together and hanging them all along the wall of my den.  With just a turn of the head we could see how all of the “getting ready” for recruitment process was going.  Everything was in one place…it was fantastic!!

Another calendar option is to make a sticky note calendar for your “to do”list.  On color coded sticky notes list all of the different task you need to do to get ready for recruitment.  Place the sticky note on the day you designate to complete the project.  you can make a color coded list to go with this if you want but I find that having the actual sticky on the day is very helpful.  We would get up in the morning and look and see what we had to do that day.  In some cases we maybe had 2 or three stickies but it made what can be a VERY over whelming process seem much more doable.

I know that may of you use iphones, ipads, blackberrys and smart phones to keep your self organized and of course and sort of filing, date book that can be downloaded to these devices works as well.  I found however that if I actually had to remove a sticky to write a memo on a calendar that sat in my eyesight I was just much more on top of the process.

In the Fall of senior year things just kind of perked along.  We were busy but it was after the first of the year that it seemed that everything kicked into over drive and life turned up a notch or two.  I was really glad that we had taken time to put together her rec packets.  I am telling y’all this AGAIN (I know…I seem like a broken record) but it really did make life so much easier.  Since we used the color coding method it was really easy to just pull the correct packet, pop it into an envelope and either hand deliver it to the recommendation writer or mail it off.  My daughter spent a chunk of October handwriting all of her “thank you” notes, leaving the Dear…part blank so she could just fill in the name.  She did two to go with the recommendation packet and a second set to mail when she received verification that the rec had been sent.  We knew that life would get really crazy in the Spring and so we thought this might be a life saver..and boy was it ever!!!!

Another organization tool we used that was a life saver had to do with shopping for clothing for recruitment.  Let me preface this by saying we learned the hard way…now I will explain. When my daughter started getting invites to pre-recruitment events and as we made plans to attend her schools Preview Weekend we began to shop for new clothes.  The styles that the girls wore where we live and the styles that they wore on the campus of her soon to be new home were quite different.  We had done our homework and we knew that there some things we needed to get. So we shopped…and we shopped…and we shopped some more.  And well….when we finally started taking stock of what we bought we found we had duplicated some items, bought things we didn’t need and spent unnecessary money.  I know you are thinking, “so why didn’t she return the items?”..well that would ‘ve been great but my child is a tag taker offer and I am not good at saving receipts so let’s just say that Plato’s Closet got some great deals.

We knew we had to come up with a better plan when it came to shopping for recruitment clothes and so this is what we did.  We took a spiral notebook and labeled the days of recruitment.  For each day we also glued an envelope for the receipts and tags from the items we bought.  When we went shopping for the dresses and things she would need for each day we made sure to take picture of my daughter in the outfit.  We then put velcro sticky tape on the back of the picture and of course put squares on the pages of the spiral.  We then would place the picture on the appropriate page (we did this for shoes and accessories as well).  We made sure we had two or three clothing options for each party day.  I always suggest doing this so that if your daughter has options.  Recruitment is so emotional and there are so many variables…”that time of the month” (hey it happens!), bloating, just plain feeling fat and so if one outfit doesn’t work usually the other one does.  Withe velcro we could switch accessories and days if we wanted two.  This also helped us to monitor what we purchase.

I sent the book to recruitment with my was a huge hit.  I preparing for actual recruitment we also did the following as far as clothing goes.  For each outfit we dressed my daughter up as if she was going to that day’s party.  We did her hair makeup ect.  We then took a picture of her all dolled up :).  I bagged each outfit, including her jewelry in a jewelry bag and her shoes…everything.  We labeled it for wat day she would wear it and we attached the picture of her in the outfit.  We knew that getting ready might be stressful and so if she had a visual of what it all looked like together it might make her less stressed.  Guess what?? It did…..success!

So those are just a few organizational tips for recruitment not too early to start now :0..j..just saying.