Today is one of those days where my head is swirling!!! I have received so many emails with so many questions the past few days. Then of course the influx of recommendation packets has continued to inhabit my mailbox is mounting and the icing on the cake today was when I was ready to leave for a morning appointment only to find that the dryer won’t turn on. I tried the fuse box, the outlets, talking sweetly to it, kicking it and nada…so am now working from home waiting for the dryer guy who called a half hour ago to say he was on his way. Yeah…I’m thinking he has the wrong customer or is lost :/.
It seems that many of you are a bit worried about rec packets. Big breaths…in out..in..out. The truth is that unless your resume is totally hideous (spelling errors, little or no information, spills and blips) the woman who said they would write your rec most likely will. Now..they may not write the most complimentary rec (if yours is messy and well challenged) and they may not support you for membership, but they probably will write the rec.
For some of you the rec process has been a long and winding road (sorry Sir Paul). While many of us who have come from “Greek” families have no trouble rounding up women to write our recs truth be told for many it’s quite a hunt. For some of us it’s even difficult to know where to begin…..and then there’s the stalking issue :).
Yep I can see some of you out there nodding your heads…you know what I mean. For those of you who are scratching your heads let me explain….
The stalking issue is shamelessly following women in Greek letters until you get up the nerve to ask them if they would be willing to write your daughter (or yourself) a recommendation. The stalking issue is eavesdropping on conversations whether it’s at the grocery store, the gas station, the dressing room in a store at the Mall or my two favorites….the first being while sitting in the waiting room getting ready to have a mammogram and the second (this is the best one)…while using the ladies restroom at a wedding reception. Really…i am telling the truth a mom actually confronted a woman as she exited the stall after overhearing her talk with another woman using the restroom about their sorority affiliations. Hey….her stalking scored 2 recs that night!
The point is that recs are everywhere. You have to keep your eyes and ears open for those opportunities out there. A couple of good places to find them…J Crew..especially during the summertime. You’d be amazed how many women who work there are sorority alums. Another great place is the gym…check out those oversized t-shirts. When you are attending your college recruiting dinner and info session as the recruiters if they were in a sorority and would they write you a rec. Hey…better than that contact our local recruiter as ask if she/he has any ties to greek life and do they know of anyone who is willing to write you a rec? Last year when I made the speaking circuit for a large flagship university every one of the female recruiters had a sorority affiliation :). Finally…get in contact with your colleges alum association in your town or city. Explain that you are going through recruitment and are having a tough time finding recs….they usually are more than happy to help. All of the above of course is in addition to asking every family member, friend, friend’s moms, aunts, cousins, your grandparents, their friends, people at church, the people you babysit for, your teachers…you get the idea. Yep…it can be a daunting, overwhelming process but hang in there…you will find the ones you need.
For those of you that are worried about stickers on the backs of pictures…yes…those are very helpful. Make sure you put full name, high school and hometown. If your daughter has a nickname make sure that’s on there as well. For example: Susan (Suzy) PNM. The whole nickname idea is a good point to talk about. This year, in particular, I have seen quite a few resumes that have nick names. Remember that when you are doing your resume you need to put the name that you will officially register for formal recruitment under. Hint…that will be the name that is on your high school transcript and the name that you were admitted under to your college or university. You can explain on the first days of recruitment that your given name is “XYZ” but that you go by “ABC”. If you have a fun and interesting nick name that makes for great recruitment conversation.
A word to the wise when addressing envelopes for the alums to send your recs and resumes to their sororities…MAKE SURE you have the right address. I know that I have suggested that you get the addressing out-of-the-way early and you can but make sure the address is correct :). If your panhellenic has a master website with all of the sorority addresses listed cross check it with the sorority’s website. You can add the “in care of” names last..(just leave space). Elections are usually held in November/December with new officer training and installations done in January/February. You need to remember that even though these young women are supposed to keep things like this updated truth is that they are still college students, who in some cases have a crazy class schedule in addition to sorority and panhellenic duties and so sometimes things don’t get updated in a timely fashion. By this time of year all contact info should be for schools that are doing formal recruitment in the fall but those deferred recruitment schools may still be in the process. Just keep checking to be sure. One other thing about the mailing envelopes…make sure you put the proper postage on them. Every year I receive a few envelopes that have he wrong postage or no postage at all. It is not the rec writers job to pay to mail your rec.
Think ahead. I am specifically thinking of items you might need to order for recruitment.
Let’s talk tea cards for a minute. Not all campuses use tea cards but there are a handful that do. You can use the insert name cards that you put in your graduation announcements if you want so when you order these add how many you will need for recruitment. How many you ask? So is now a good time to share that in addition to being directions challenged I am also math challenged (yes …$3.99 is REALLY $3). To get the approximate number you will need take the maximum number of sorority houses that you are able to visit for first round of recruitment..(.so lets say there are 18 houses) times the number of rounds of recruitment (5 days) and so you have 90..and add 20 cards to it..which makes 110. I might even get 150 just to be safe :). If you are ordering tea cards on-line or from a stationary store give yourselves PLENTY of time!!! I am thinking at least 6 weeks! I know that seems like wayyy too much but you want to make sure that you have the cards in hand before you leave for recruitment. Last year a very sweet girl waited too long and her cards were not finished in time for recruitment. She was forced to cut slips of paper to hand out. While panhellenic assured her that this would not be a problem she was cut from several houses that she had experienced a lot of email. Facebook messages and snail mail. WE can’t totally point to the fact that she had a tea card issue but I am sure having slips of notebook paper didn’t help.
It is almost certain that PNMS/pledges will need a white dress, a black dress or both. Start looking now! Pre-spring sales often times will include great lbd’s from winter. As the summer moves on white dresses will go on sale. I am telling you that the last thing you need is to have to find a white dress after Preference parties in a town that you are not familiar with. Be prepared!!! I know it seems kind of silly to plan so far ahead but I am sharing from my experiences. The more prepared you are the less tress you will have during an already stressful time!
A couple of rec pointers. If your rec is more than one page DO NOT print on the front and the back..use only the front of each page. Do not staple the pages together. Do not staple you r pictures to your resume…us a small clip and just clip the edge. Use quality resume paper or cute border paper. Print in black ink! Last year I had a girl print her resume in rainbow colors!!! When you are doing your resume use either grades (9, 10, 11, 12) or years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) but do not use both!
If you are a sophomore going through recruitment you will need to add you college information to your resume under EDUCATION. You will keep your high school ACTIVITIES, HONORS and AWARDS and PHILANTHROPY but make sure and add any college items that might fall under these categories. I would use years as opposed to grades. Remember sororities are looking for girls who are involved and will bring that involvement to the sorority. Also remember they are looking for consistency…they want to see a girl choose an activity or philanthropy and stick with it….one and done sends up red flags!
Another word of advice for sophomores….if you are involved in clubs or groups on campus and you don’t list them on your resume the sororities will find out any way. Sororities are very good and checking PNMS. They will check out your Facebook page, your Twitter account and any other social media (Instagram) as well as google to find newspaper articles YouTube videos ect. Just know that if they want to know about you they will check. They aren’t creeping on you just to creep…they are checking to make sure that you have the morals and character traits that are important to their sorority character.
So that’s just a few things to think about….generated from tons of emails that come my way!!
FYI….A couple more panhellenic work shops :).
FORT WALTON BEACH — Deadline for filing sorority-recruitment information forms is July 1, the Fort Walton Beach Panhellenic Alumnae Association stated.
The association writes recommendation letters for local girls starting college in the fall and interested in joining a sorority.
Local girls interested in the recruitment process can learn more at www.fwbpanhellenic.org. Information regarding recommendation letter requests and the recruitment information form also is available there.
The association will not host an information party this spring due to past low attendance.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
May 23, 2013 at 5:30 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairhope, Alabama
Please bring multiple copies (the number of chapters at your school) of your resume and color photo.