So after a two month  hiatus I am back ….and it feels good.  For those o you who are loyal readers you know that I took what was supposed to be a “part-time” job.  Well let’s just say that nothing I do is “part-time” and so it has taken me 2 months to figure out a schedule.  the good news is that I finally think I might have one (at least for the next two weeks!).

Can you believe it’s October, most of the major recruitments are over and many young women are beginning the process of getting ready for recruitment 2014!!  Where did the time go?

Just my opinion but for the most part I think that recruitment went well this year.  Of course it wasn’t with out its share of drama but in the end 99% of the girls I worked with ended up where they belonged.  There were those girls however, who didn’t get the recs needed ( can’t resist an “I told you so”) and were disappointed in their recruitment experience.

I have said it many time and I will say it again…”IF ANYWHERE ON YOUR SCHOOLS PANHELLENIC WEBISTE IT EVEN REMOTELY MENTIONS THE WORD RECOMMENDATION….THEN YOU NEED THEM…PERIOD….END OF SENTENCE!!”  Sorry for the all caps but I wanted to make a point.  Remember recs don’t hurt you..they can only help :).

And so now we begin the process again (yes this is even for you ladies who are still going to go through deferred recruitment this year).  Already Alabama has set their Panhellenic Preview Weekend date for March 8.  It will be here before you know it :).

So what do you do between now and recruitment?

First of all you make a list of the sororities on campus.  Next you begin to ask everyone you know if they were Greek and if so, would they like to write you a rec and/or a letter of support?  If you are thinking it’s too early to begin this process then think again…it’s not!  This is a time-consuming process.  What I mean is that in order to really be prepared and have great recs you need to start early.  Many of you will find that there are women who have been in a sorority and are willing to help out.  they don’t need to write the rec /letter now but h=get them on board so when you need them to write the rec the leg work has been done.  Once you have exhausted your pool of potential rec writers you will need to reach out to your local Panhellenic organizations for the recs you are missing.  This process entails emails and potential meetings with ladies who you don’t know.  It’s juggling what already is a busy senior year in order to make time for these get togethers.

You should also be working on your resume.  Remember that in many cases this will be your first introduction to a sorority.  I like to think of it as a book of paper dolls.  the dolls are you….the clothes, accessories and even back drops are all the activities that you have been involved in (think cheer uniforms, dance outfits, sashes for pageants ect), activities you like to do ( swimming suits, skiing outfits, book bag, headphones for music, horse back riding outfits),  philanthropy projects you volunteer for (aspca ..dogs and kitties, packing food baskets, sunday school accessories), and any other items that describe who you are.  Obviously the more interesting the paper dolls, the more they get played with, or in this circumstance the more interested the sororities become in you.  I actually got this paper doll idea from a particular sorority who did this on a big poster to identify each girl who was a “top” for them during recruitment.  Members were assigned a pnm’s resume and were told to make a paper doll poster of their top girls.  The paper doll posters were hung in the upstairs hallways of the house for the members to see and learn about each girl.  I think this is a darling idea and a cute way to introduce pnms that a have caught a particular chapter’s eye.

So make sure when you are putting together your resume that you are thorough and creative.  Think of the paper doll picture you are portraying.   Make sure your resume is interesting and informative.

In addition to helping an alum write your rec, your resume will also help them write a letter of support.  A letter of support is exactly what it sounds like, a letter written by an alum telling their chapter all the qualities you have that they think will be assets to the sorority.  Again, painting that paper doll picture of you.  Ultimately the paper doll they want the chapter to see is one of YOU, wearing their letters.

A thing or two about letters of support.  First of all they can be sent any time after initiation has been completed for this years pledges. The reason I say this is that starting in November many sororities who held recruitment in August or September will ask their members to submit names of girls that they are acquainted with who will be going through recruitment in the fall.  The members will be asked to only submit names of girls they feel will be good candidates for membership.  These girls will placed on a “List” and will begin receiving mail and correspondence from the sorority.  In some cases they may be invited down for a visit, a tea or a get together in the pnm’s hometown.  Ladies…you want on this list.

IF…. you are going through recruitment at a school where you do not have any connections or sorority women you know in various houses then a letter of support form an alum just might do the trick and land you on the list.  While being on the “List” is a good thing it DOES NOT guarantee you a bid to that sorority nor does it even guarantee you an invite back to the second round of parties during recruitment week.  However it DOES get you on the radar of the sorority and gives you the potential of getting noticed and perhaps becoming a “top” for that house.

So your task…if you should choose to accept it is to begin making your own personal paper doll in the form of a killer resume.  You also need to start to search out and line up those ladies who will write you amazing recs (yes…even alums who you do not know can write you an amazing recs…you just need to charm them) and letters of support.  This is a process, a lengthy one at times but one that is necessary if you want to have a positive and successful recruitment.

So get started now…it’s not too early.  You won’t regret it….I promise. I for one am anxious to see all the amazing paper dolls out there :).