I had a mom ask me if I had specifically done a post on recommendations packets 101 and as I looked back over almost 10 months of posts I realized that I had not specifically posted on just a rec packet…so here goes.
A recommendation packet is something that is given to the alum who has so graciously agreed to write you a recommendation for their sorority. An alum can only write a rec for the sorority they are affiliated with. they must be in good standing with their national sorority organization, which means that their membership has been revoked for any reason. If an alum has a question about their status or doesn’t have their member number they can call their national organization and they will be more than happy to help.
So let’s go through what goes into a rec packet item by item. It looks nicer if you can coordinate the paper for your resume, the envelopes and note cards…it’s not a MUST but it does look more professional.
My suggestions but I would get large 11×14 envelopes and label the front with the name of sorority to whom the rec will be sent. If you artistic you can color code them according to the sorority’s colors and mascot..it’s up to you. Everything the alum who is going to write your rec needs to complete the rec and mail it to the correct location should be included/
In the envelope you should include a large envelope that is addressed to the proper mailing address of the sorority to which is to be mailed. In some cases it will need to go in care of the recruitment chair. Elections are usually held in December with transition taking place in January so this name may not be available until February. If you are following my advice and getting as much as you can done early then go ahead and address the envelope, leaving a space for the in care of name. You will need to take this envelope to the post office and have it weighed (you will need to put the contents inside) and then affix the proper postage. The alum should not have to pay to mail your rec!
Next is your completed sorority resume. Here is a little blurb about sorority resumes:
The purpose of a sorority resume is to introduce a PNM to the woman who is going to write her recommendation by supplying her with as much information about the PNM as possible. The resume will paint a sort of paper picture of the PNM.
Sorority resumes are different from a resume that you would put together for a job interview. They contain very specific information. The information, placed in a resume format, will give the rec writer all the information she needs to adequately fill in her recommendation form. The resume will be attached to the recommendation and sent to the recruitment chair of the sorority the rec write is an alumna to.
So lets look at what information is needed in a sorority resume.
At the top of your resume should be your full name (first, middle and last) followed by your address, home phone number, cell phone number and your email information.
Next comes the EDUCATION section. In this section list your high school, expected date of diploma, Class standing/rank (#/#)..if your school doesn’t rank then put what percentile you would be in (example : top 5% out of 345). List your GPA both weighted and unweighted and what scale is used, indicate whether you have taken any dual enrollment or AP classes and list your ACT and/ or SAT scores.
The next section should contain your PERSONAL INFORMATION. Here you will put your date of birth, College attending, major, and class entering. List both your parents, where they attended college, degrees earned and occupations.
If you have any Greek affiliations that you choose to share put them next in a section called GREEK AFFILIATIONS. You will need to list the person’s name, their relationship to you, the sorority or fraternity they are a member of, chapter name and date of initiation. Including this section is entirely up to you. All recommendation forms ask if you have any affiliations. There is some thought that if you have had a sister who is/has been in a sorority on the campus that you are going through recruitment at you should not list her in this section. Some sororities will take your relationship to mean that you are intending to pledge her house and they will let you go to make room for another PNM. This is an entirely personal decision.
The next sections should be labeled ACTIVITIES. Here list any and all activities you have been involved in for all 4 years of high school. Make sure you put the dates you participated. Sororities are looking for longevity and leadership. Make sure you put if you were a president of a club or a captain of a team. This is your chance to brag about all the different things you have been involved in. List all sports teams, clubs, student government, student aides, any faculty appointed positions. Do not list any Philanthropy or Volunteer activities. They will be listed in their own section.
Next is a section labeled HONORS, ACHIEVEMENTS and AWARDS. List all honors, both academic and non academic, awards and Achievements here. Things like honor Society, Academic Awards recipient ect. Make sure to write the date of the achievement or award.
Now come PHILANTHROPY/ VOLUNTEER. List every philanthropy/volunteer opportunity you have had. Make sure and place dates beside each one. Sororities are looking for longevity and a progression to a leadership position. This is an important section of the resume and so makes sure to write everything down.
The next section is HOBBIES and INTERESTS. Again list everything you like to do and are involved in that has not been listed. If travel is listed then list the interesting places you have visited. If you place competitive travel sports then list the sport and number of years you have participated.
Finally you can add your WORK EXPERIENCE. List your job, work title and years you held the position.
DO NOT list personal references.
Below is an example of a sorority resume:
Suzy PNM 2215 Home Road Some City, Some State 22212 Hm: 222-222-2122 Cell: 333-333-3313 SuzyPNM@gmail.com
High School: ABC High School Diploma Expected: May 30, 2012 Class Standing: 35 out of 350 Grade Point Average – 3.9 unweighted (on a 4.0 scale) includes AP classes ACT-28 Major: Biology/Nutrition
Father: Daddy PNM Senior Vice President of Business ABC Business Office BA/MS University of Learning 1985
Mother: Mommy PNM Executive Household Coordinator The Home BA University of Learning 1985
Daddy PNM Kappa Alpha Lambda Iota Chapter 1981
Mommy PNM Kappa Alpha Theta Rho Chapter 1981
Girls Tennis 4 Year Varsity Letter (2008-2012) USTA Tennis Association travel team (2008-2012) Sophomore Mentor (2010-2012) Fellowship of Christian Athletes (2001-2012) Character builders Mentor (2008-2012) Future Teachers of America (2008-2012) Hi-STEP Leader and classroom leader (2008-2012) Positive School Environment Task Force (2010-2012) Teacher Aide SPED (2008-2012) Varsity Basket ball Manager (2008-20012) Club 121 (2008-2012)
HONORS, ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS
National Honor Society (2011-2012) Academic Excellence Award (2008-2012) All Star Student Athlete (2008-2012) Academic Honor Roll (2008-2012) All State Tennis singles 2nd place (2012) Varsity Tennis Captain (2010-2012) Presidential Excellence Scholar (2008-2012) AG Marconi Scholarship for Leadership (2012) Homecoming Court (2008-2012) Homecoming Queen (2011) Philanthropy Award for 1000 service hours (2012) Voted most likely to succeed (2012) Girls State Representative #1 Senator Award (2010-2011)
All Saints Lutheran Church VBS Teacher (2008-2012) All Saints Lutheran church Sunday School Teacher (2010-2012) Susan B Komen Race For The Cure volunteer (2008-2012) Childrens Mercy Hospital Volunteer (weekly 2008-2012) Founder of Back Pack Buddies (collect and distribute back pack to special needs children 2009-2012) Volunteer 3rd grade girls Community Basketball Team (2008-2012) CATS Community Service Group (2001-2012) Mission Trip Dominican Republic (summer 2010 and summer 2012) Christmas in May box program (2008-2012)
INTERESTS AND HOBBIES
Traveling (have visited 37 states and 14 countries including France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and India), reading, needlepoint, football (especially college)
Hostess Logans Roadhouse (2008-2010) Areie Sales Associate (2010-2012)
So now that you have an example to work off of you have a pretty good idea of what goes into a Sorority Resume. We have covered the envelope for mailing, and your resume. Next is a letter that contains some personal information about YOU. It should explain why you chose the college you did, why you want to go through recruitment, what are some activities and interests you are passionate about and why. In addition I always tell the girls to share a couple of interesting facts about themselves. You can also include your email and ask the alum to please email you when she sends the rec in.
Another idea that a mom shared with me was to include a self-addressed postcard that the alum could put in the email to notify you that she had sent in your recommendation. I have to share that actually receiving confirmation that the rec has been mailed alleviates a lot of the stress on the PNMs end (and her mothers!!!).
You will need two pictures of yourself that look like you will look when you actually go through the recruitment. One picture should be a head shot and one a full body shot. These pictures should be conservative and contain only you! You can certainly use your wallet exchange senior pics. No Glamour Shots or artistic photos. On the back of the pictures write your full name, high school and hometown.
You can include but do not have to include the recommendation form itself. These are available online at each sorority’s national website. Some forms are available to anyone and others can only be accessed through a members only log in password. If you have an alum who has not done a recommendation before you might copy the members log in page and share with her contact information for her national organization. Many times these ladies don’t know their member ID number. A simple phone call to their national organization and registering online will solve this quickly.
Each rec packet should include a personal, handwritten thank you note. If you have asked the alum to notify you when they mail your rec then you will need to send a second handwritten thank you note at that time.
Please include a copy of your most current transcript. This does not need to be an Official Transcript. You will need to send your Official Transcript to your school’s Panhellenic once it is available after graduation.
So that’s what goes into a recommendation packet. As I have written earlier even if your resume is not finished now is not too early to start assembling your packets. Good luck!