How to Get Recommendation Letters | Sorority Recruitment 101

I’ve been sharing an ongoing sorority recruitment series here on Hannah With a Camera. Click here to read more posts about recruitment and sorority life, or comment below if you want to see a specific post on the blog! 

Recommendation letters. Most likely, if you’re going through sorority recruitment, you’ve heard all about them and how you just have to have them in order to even make it through the first day. This all depends on your school–some schools require them, some schools suggest them, and some schools won’t even mention them at all. You can find out which type of school yours is by searching “[insert school] panhellenic” and look it up on your Panhellenic organization’s website. (Tip: Panhellenic is the governing body over all sororities, so you’ll hear this word a lot.)

How to Get Recommendation Letters | Sorority Recruitment 101

Step one: Just ask

My mom was in a sorority, so I posted on her Facebook page back in June last year to search for recommendation letters. My post went something like this: “Hi everyone! This is Hannah posting. I’m going through sorority recruitment at the University of Kansas in the fall and I’m looking for recommendation letters for [insert all 12 sorority names]. If you’d be willing to write one for me, please let me know and I can send you all the information. Thank you!” This was the easiest way for me to get recommendation letters–you’d be surprised at how many women were in a sorority in college. (If you’re having trouble finding certain sororities, ask women who are already writing you one if they have any friends in that sorority. It never hurts to ask around!)

You could also post this on your own Facebook page and you might have friends of yours telling you that their mom was in a sorority. Usually, a girl who is currently in the sorority can’t write you a recommendation letter for her own chapter, but she can for a chapter at a different school. Keep that in mind if you’re planning on asking girls you know who are at your college and in a sorority already.

Step two: prepare the packet

Make it easy for the woman that’s volunteered to write your recommendation letter and put everything together for her. This packet should include four things: a picture of you, your resume, a pre-addressed and stamped envelope, and a cover letter.

The photo that you include will be sent to that sorority, so make it a nice headshot or senior photo, not just a photo that you cropped your friends out of. Be sure you print this on photo paper, not printer paper. Your resume should include all the activities you were involved in during high school, your GPA (weighted and unweighted), class rank, leadership positions, and community service. This is an easy sample resume you can use that I had during high school. (A lot of my information is redacted, so be sure to fill in the parts with the x or [ ].). Make sure you put how many years you were involved in everything!

The cover letter isn’t like a professional letter, instead, it should be more like a thank-you note to the woman writing your letter. Here’s a sample cover letter to refer to. Finally, include a 11×14 envelope that is pre-addressed and stamped to each sorority’s recruitment/reference chair. Be sure not to mix these up! To find these addresses, go to your university’s Panhellenic website and you should be able to find a listing of all the chairs under the recruitment page. Women aren’t living in their sorority houses during the summer, so don’t send the envelopes to the chapter houses.

Step three: follow up

Always, always, always be sure to follow up with the women who are writing your letters. It’s likely that your letter isn’t their top priority, so follow up with them to make sure that they got your packet in the first place and that they sent it out on time. Don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to write your letter. I would send out these packets at least a month before you move in so you can have time to resend an envelope and sort things out if it gets mailed back to you.

Are there any other posts you’d like to see about going through recruitment?

xo, Hannah

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