As you make final decisions about where you are going to spend your college years you are probably deciding whether to take the plunge, GO GREEK and join a sorority. Joining a sorority affords young women so many wonderful opportunities. Not only does it provide a sisterhood that will support you throughout your college years but it s lifetime sisterhood that will be there for you as you navigate life. Sorority life does provide social activities like swaps, date parties and game day activities, just to name a few but it also encourages its members to step outside of the box, get involved on campus (most sororities will ask you to join one or more groups or clubs that are not Greek related) and provides its members the opportunity to give and share through volunteering and philanthropy.
Recruitment numbers across the United States seem to e sky rocketing these days. Being part of a sorority seems to be high on many young women’s lists. With so many young women going through recruitment it is easy to become lost in the shuffle. That is why many campus Panhellenics advise PNMs to secure recommendations to the houses on their particular campus. These recs are written by sorority alums and sent to their respective chapters on the campus where the PNM is going through recruitment.
Recs ask lots of questions and if an alum does not know the PNM she is writing the rec for or even if she does know the PNM, a sorority resume helps her to fully answer the questions.
Sorority resumes are unique unto themselves. They are your first introduction to the sorority that receives it and so of course since first impressions are everything you want to put your best foot forward. i wanted to highlight a few mistakes that PNMs make when putting together their sorority resumes.
The first thing you need to know is that a sorority resume does not need to be 1 page. Many young women will send me their resumes that they have completed for a high school class. These are usually resumes that were created for a job application. Sorority resumes are not the same! Don’t confine yourself to one page. It’s totally okay if your resume is 2 or even 3. anything past 3 is a little excessive.
When you are putting together your resume make sure that you use a font that is easy to read. Many PNMs like to use a font that is girly and cute. That’s okay as long as it is so swirly that it is hard to read. Also go ahead and BOLD your headings. Use all caps on the headings and you can even underline them. Bullet points will help draw notice to specific events, honors and awards and activities.
Many times when PNMs send me their resumes spacing and layout is a problem. There are lots of templates for resumes online. I will be the first to admit that I am a techno nerd and the layout of a resume would be difficult for me as well. Many campus Panhellenics will have sample resumes for you to look at. In an earlier post I walked through what a sorority resume should look like. If you need help and want feed back let me know and I would be happy to look at your resume. I can also send you some examples. As far as spacing goes make sure that you have adequate spacing between your sections. Also use a list form, for ex:
HONORS AND AWARDS
- Class Valedictorian 2013
- Recipient of the Paul Smith Leadership Scholarship 2013
- Voted “most improved player” by teammates Varsity Tennis 2012
Some young women have sent me resumes that look like this:
HONORS AND AWARDS
Class Valedictorian 2013, Recipient of the Paul Smith Leadership Scholarship 2013, Voted “most improved player” by teammates Varsity Tennis 2012
Can you see how much more difficult the second example is to read?
When it comes to ACTIVITIES and VOLUNTEER/PHILANTHROPY many PNMs want to explain about each item. Most activities are self-explanatory. You really don’t need to write out how many hours a week you spend at practice ect. If you feel strongly about this go ahead but I can tell you that in some cases sororities on competitive campuses may receive over 4000 recs and resumes. If they have to sit and read a lot of descriptors they may lose interest and that’s not good. Be short and to the point. If a description is warranted then be as concise as possible. There is an exception to describing an activity. If a PNM spends an excessive amount of time doing one particular activity and therefore she has limited time to participate in other activities then it’s okay to take a little time to explain this. For example I had a PNM who was a very competitive swimmer. She was in at the pool each morning training before school and each afternoon after school. On the weekends she was traveling and competing in swim meets across the country. Her activities were very limited due to her swim schedule. She was not attending college on a swim scholarship and was so excited to join a sorority. we felt we needed to “explain” her lack of other activities.
As far as VOLUNTEER/PHILANTHROPY goes this is the area where many PNMs sell themselves short. Having 4 kids who were very involved in high school I know that many clubs do philanthropy type activities. National Honor Society in particular has a philanthropy component built it. List all these activities. Any philanthropy or volunteer activity that you have participated in should be listed. Make sure you put the year or the class next to it. Many sororities look hard at this area to see what PNMs have done. They want to see consistency but also a lot of philanthropy show them that a PNM is willing to put herself out there and get involved. don’t forget church activities as well. If you have participated in certain events year after year note that. If you have had various leadership roles in those activities list that as well.
All rec forms have a space that asks what a PNM would like to talk about. The section on a resume called HOBBIES and INTERESTS speaks to this section. This is a great place to list all of the things you like to do in your spare time. If you enjoy playing tennis put that. Sororities look in this section not only for topics to talk about but they also look to see where a PNM might fit in when it comes to things like Homecoming, Intramurals, leadership positions in the house ect. If you enjoy drawing or painting list it. This will indicate that you might be a great person to design the Homecoming decs or float. If you like to travel and have been to lots of interesting places list them.
Sometimes it’s hard to brag about ourselves. We are taught not to brag but I am here to tell you that in this instance it okay!!!!! If you don’t tell the sororities about yourself via your recs and resumes then they will have very little time to get to know you during formal recruitment. That’s just the facts. Your resume is the first step on the path to a successful recruitment and getting that bid. Go ahead…put your best foot forward.