Tips to Help with Sorority Recruitment Preparation

Making the decision to join a sorority can change your life, but going through rush can be a process. If you're wondering how to get into the sorority you want, there are some things you'll need to know about the recruitment process known as rush.

When you're prepping for rush, you have no idea how it's going to go, right? I mean, you can prep and prep all you want, but in the end, everyone has to work together to have a successful rush. You may be asking how to get into a good sorority, and who better to give the best sorority rush tips out there than the experts themselves? At Greek U, we know a lot about rush and we're ready to spill the tea so you can be as prepared as possible.

We asked a bunch of recruitment chairs across the nation, "What are your best sorority recruitment tips for members?"* In other words: What have they learned? What advice would they give potential new members who are going through rush for the first time?

We asked, and they gave some SUPER amazing sorority recruitment tips that we're passing on to you. Keep reading to hear the best sorority recruitment advice from the experts themselves.

*Some answers have been edited for clarity and/or length.

For the Potential New Members (PNMs)

When it comes to sorority recruitment preparation for new members, following the advice from established sisters could help you throughout the process. We've asked the questions you really want to know and have compiled them all into some helpful tips.

  1. Be yourself, the girls on the other side are just as nervous as you are.
  2. It's okay to take the water!! Staying hydrated will keep you energized and feeling good. - Natalie M. Starzyk, Missouri State University, VP Recruitment Alpha Chi Omega
  3. Go into [recruitment] with an open mind, and don't get set on one chapter. You have no idea what the others have to offer, and you need to give more than just one a fair chance!
  4. Make friends with everyone! The more people you talk with and become friends with, the better your recruitment experience will be.
  5. Keep on top of your studies. Bring homework to look over/study between rounds, or make sure you get a head start on assignments if your recruitment is during the school year/weekends of the academic year. You don't want to fall behind and have added stress. - Katie McWatters, Illinois State University, Zeta Tau Alpha President
  6. There's a fine line between selecting the sorority with the girls most like you and the girls who you want to be like. For example, it's healthy to realize you're an introvert and maybe want to be more social, but it's almost important to think about who is going to encourage you to be who you already are and help you enhance that. Basically, go with the girls who are going to push you out of your comfort zone to be better, not change you.
  7. Don't be disappointed if things don't work out the way you initially hoped. Recruitment is about finding the best match, and the process [makes that easier].
  8. Consider your potential pledge class - if most of the girls you know and like are older, remember that they'll graduate. - Julia Poppenberg, Washington & Lee University, VP Recruitment Kappa Alpha Theta
  9. Have a little fun with your recruitment outfits! If you're allowed complete freedom with your outfits during rounds, don't be afraid to show off your personal style! The same goes for if you have required items - you can still find ways to show off your own personality and style through the pieces and accessories you choose! - Sydney Stone, Arkansas Tech University, VP Recruitment Phi Mu

Keep An Open Mind

Staying open to new possibilities and experiences is all part of the college and sorority recruitment process. You should always go into rush with an open heart and give every sorority a chance. You never know who you'll meet rushing a sorority or what you'll learn along the way, and you might even be surprised to find that your first pick doesn't wind up being the sorority you go with.

  1. Ask your [recruitment counselor] before entering your first chapter facility what to expect. Sorority Recruitment is unlike anything you have probably experienced and knowing what you are walking into will help you take your first steps through the doors that one day you could possibly call home.
  2. Don't listen to anything you've heard about any of the chapters on your campus. People will talk and tell you the reputations each chapter holds but try to block those out and form your own opinions based on conversations you are having with the women of each chapter throughout the week. Follow your gut and trust your instincts. - Katelyn Chambers, Iowa State University, Kappa Kappa Gamma Membership Chairman
  3. It all happens for a reason. Trust the system. You may go in thinking you've found your home on day 1, but you might not get called back. Don't let that shatter your hope. It happened for a reason, and trust me when I say you're probably better off. When you know, you just know. Just stay hopeful, stay strong and everything will make sense when you're running to your forever home on Bid Day! - Manavi Melkote, University of North Texas, Kappa Delta VP Membership
  4. Be open to learning. The women that you will meet during formal recruitment are very eager to tell you everything they can about their sorority and if you pay attention, you will truly find a lot of valuable information that will lead you to your new home.
  5. Don't be nervous to ask real questions. This is the only way that you can really learn which house is the fit for you, and the girls you are talking to will be more than happy to answer.
  6. Remember that recruitment is meant to be fun, not stressful. Keep in mind that the girls you are talking to may soon be your best friends and therefore talking to them should be exciting. - Kaitlyn Sheppard, University of Texas at Austin, VP Recruitment Alpha Xi Delta
  7. First impressions are EVERYTHING. This isn't just for recruitment, it's for every area of your life! Smile, enjoy yourself and dress in a way that makes you feel confident.
  8. Sticky feet pads! This tip specifically works if you're planning on wearing heels. Running between houses is exhausting on your feet. Treat yo' self to some foot cushions that stick to the soles of your shoes. (Target is my go-to place for these bad boys.)
  9. If you know you love a specific house, express your interest during your conversations with their members! Expressing interest in a house's philanthropy, sisterhood or values is a great way to show your interest without coming off as tooooo unreasonably passionate. - Lydia Patton, University of Denver, VP of Membership Delta Gamma
  10. Take good notes and talk to your recruitment counselor! Recruitment parties can go by very quickly, and at the end of the day, conversations can blur into one another. By taking notes after each party, you will be able to remember all of your amazing experiences at each house and you can talk to your recruitment counselor to help you narrow it down! (Use them; they've been trained for this!
  11. Wear comfy shoes (or at least bring some with you)!! Walking from house to house can get very tiring, so bring a pair of flip flops to slip on between parties to make the walk more comfortable! - Joy Schorr, University of California Santa Barbara, VP Membership Gamma Phi Beta
  12. Let Yourself Feel: At the end of the day, sorority is about finding a sense of belonging. Trying to fit a certain mold never pays off in the long run. When you are going through recruitment, think about how the conversations and experiences you have with each sorority make you feel. Do you feel comfort? Challenged? Do you see opportunity? Friendship? - Steffanie Entralgo, Delta Phi Epsilon Nationals

Tips For Chapter Sisters (Recruiters)

The sorority recruitment process is important for individuals who want to join, but it's equally important for the chapter to find the best members. You want to find members that will not only mesh well with the existing sisterhood, but who will also uphold the ideals of the sorority and add something valuable to the chapter. Thankfully, we were able to ask those who have been there and done that to give us their best sorority recruitment ideas so that we can share it with you!

  1. As a recruiter, remember that you were chosen for a reason. Be confident in who you are.
  2. Keep a positive self-image and sorority image on social media at all times. Remember that recruitment isn't a week, you're "recruiting" 365 days of the year. - Sophie Gabler, University of Colorado at Boulder, Delta Gamma President
  3. Remember why you love your sorority and why the PNMs will too. It's too easy during recruitment to get stressed out, tired, and as a result get annoyed with the process as a whole. Recruitment is a lot of small talk and is long, there is no denying that, but at the end of the day, if you can remember why you love your sorority, it makes the long days much more bearable and meaningful.
  4. Have fun! Again, recruitment can be an extremely tedious process, but remember that you're surrounded by all of your best friends while you are going through it. There are so many little things you can do to make it fun and if you're having fun, so will the PNMs.
  5. Stay hydrated, fed and consistently wash your hands! Especially since Penn's recruitment is in the winter, we always have members getting sick. The easiest way to combat that is to make sure everyone is staying hydrated and fed and keeping bottles of [hand sanitizer] all throughout the house. Also, the recruitment committee keeps Emergency, airborne and cough drops in our bags for when people start to feel sick. - Courtney Lipson, University of Pennsylvania, VP Recruitment Kappa Alpha Theta

Be Genuine and Real During Sorority Recruitment

You may think that you need to portray a certain personality to join a sorority, but being yourself will always pay off. After all, you're going to be spending a significant amount of time with these girls over the next four years, so you want to make sure you truly get along with them and vice versa. Be polite, be genuine and be yourself.

  1. Being genuine is basically just making real connections with girls and having conversations that aren't just surface level. It also includes forming real and genuine friendships, not just ones that fade once recruitment is over. It also works the other way around where if you don't feel like you can really connect to someone, you introduce that potential new member to someone who they might connect better with.
  2. Recruitment can be extremely stressful and can put people on edge. The best way to handle that is to try and honestly enjoy it - smile, find things to laugh about with one another, don't be at each other's throats when something seems to go wrong. That's where working together comes into play. You can't succeed if girls aren't working towards the common goal of trying to recruit the best new member class that they can. From personal and honest experience, everyone gets stressed out and can feel like they aren't doing a good job, or that they made mistakes, or even that they don't want to participate in rush anymore. But if everyone works together and tries to help one another, that is when morale is high and girls are happiest and motivated. - Julianna Paldino, Lehigh University, VP Recruitment Alpha Omicron Pi
  3. Focus on what the PNM is saying and do not treat recruitment like a game of 20 questions. Engage in the conversation instead of just thinking about the next question that you are going to ask them. You WON'T remember the 17 PNMs that are business majors from California, but you WILL remember that one girl who you genuinely bonded with over her volunteer trip to Africa this summer or how both of your families like to go on lake trips every summer. Embrace everyone's different personalities, and don't judge a book by its cover because you may miss out on a really great story. - Jamie Weltsch, University of Oregon, VP Recruitment Delta Gamma

Tips for Exec Council Planning Sorority Recruitment

Sorority rush is an incredibly busy time, which can be tough on everyone, but by following these tips, the experience can be thrilling for everyone involved! We've gathered some great tips for the executive council in how to stand out in sorority recruitment.

  1. PLAN AHEAD! If there is anything I have learned, it is that all of this takes time. The budget, the items to be purchased, the orders - these are all things that have to be thought of ahead of time. I started planning for formal recruitment, which occurs in September, in February! Though that may seem excessive, it has enabled me to double check that everything has been done correctly and has given me the chance to change things that I otherwise wouldn't have had time to.
  2. Rely on the women around you! Yes - definitely utilize any assistants or recruitment team you appoint, as well as the remainder of your chapter to delegate tasks to and give opportunities to other women. This will allow all of the women to have a role in recruitment but will also take some of the responsibilities you are juggling off of your plate. Better yet, use the other women in your Panhellenic community as well. Something that the chapters on our campus do is participate in mock recruitment - this allows the women that have not been on the recruiting side before to have the opportunity to have life-like conversations with "PNMs." It also allows the women in your chapter to discover techniques that other chapters utilize that may be beneficial (as well as techniques that you can point out to your chapter that do not line up with the ideas your chapter holds). - Leah Huss, Illinois State University, VP Membership Zeta Tau Alpha

Lead By Example

Existing sisters take note! Leading by example is the best way to get the highest quality members for your chapter. Taking charge of the recruitment process requires the right skill set, but joining a sorority helps you garner leadership skills. This is the perfect time to put them into practice! Be a leader and always lead your recruitment team by example.

  1. Rather than bossing around people, take initiative and people will follow.
  2. Outline exactly what you are expecting. That way there is little room for mistakes.
  3. If you're stressed, take a step back and remember that recruitment is an exciting time to bring and influence a new group of girls to one of the greatest experiences of college (and life). - Lois Kim, Carnegie Mellon University, VP Recruitment Delta Gamma
  4. I think a great tip is to keep in the back of your head that although you may feel overwhelmed, or maybe something didn't go exactly as you planned, the PNMs can't tell a difference. They're just so excited to meet everyone and aren't going to notice little things that maybe you as VP Recruitment saw, so don't stress. Second, for the chapter as a whole, just remember that all you're doing during Recruitment is talking and getting to know people. Don't overthink it and try to make it a forced, interview-like conversation because that will come off disingenuous and sometimes awkward to the PNM. - Marissa Messina, California State University San Marcos, Alpha Chi Omega VP Recruitment

Stay Organized

You have a lot of your plate, so don't be afraid to do what is necessary to stay organized to reduce stress. It helps to have a planner or digital calendar and a notebook that's dedicated just to rush activities. After each event, take a minute to jot down some notes. Who did you meet? Who did you like? What worked well? What didn't work well?

  1. There is nothing worse than forgetting important aspects of recruitment, making to do lists, staying on top of dates and deadlines, and writing down all your ideas are key to a successful recruitment.
  2. Plan a Killer Recruitment School - You'll get great girls if you're prepared for anything and everything potential new members throw your way, and the only way to be prepared for that is practice, practice, practice! Make sure your chapter is ready for anything by keeping them active and engaged during recruitment school.
  3. Make sure you hype up sorority recruitment all over your social media platforms! Potential New Members are excited about college and becoming a part of Greek life and will be checking social media regularly. Keeping up with your social media will keep your chapter in their minds come recruitment. - Taylor Dumitru, University of California Santa Cruz, Gamma Phi Beta VP Membership

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

You don't have to do this alone. Look for help when you can! Your sisters will be more than happy to help out. Tap into your sisterhood for help when you need it.

  1. Often times, during recruitment, your recruitment committee will be all that separates a successful and enjoyable recruitment from a disastrous, dramatic one. Find sisters who bring great ideas to the table but also ones that are willing to listen before voicing their own opinion. Then, work on building relationships within the committee and learn to have each other's backs so that when recruitment comes, everyone can work as a team and get things done efficiently.
  2. Plan out your delegations. What is your assistant VPR going to do? What are each of your day chairs going to be doing during each day of recruitment? Which sisters will they delegate tasks to? Who is putting things up and taking them down every night? Who is facilitating house tours? Figure all of this out at least a month in advance so you're not scrambling that last week. - Mingyi Wu, Brown University, Alpha Chi Omega VP Recruitment
  3. Absorb every minute of recruitment and become closer with your sisters. When someone shows up in the wrong shirt don't get upset at them, instead realize funny little mistakes like that are what make your chapter so special and different from other chapters. - Nicole Jean Kissling, Bowling Green State University, Kappa Kappa Gamma Membership Chair

Recruitment Isn't Just Four Days of Parties

Recruitment takes place in a short amount of time, but that's the culmination of all the hard work that has been put in before the process. Recruitment is more than just a series of parties, it's a time to meet and attract new potential members. Recruitment is a chance for girls to interview your sorority just as much as it's a chance for you to interview them.

  1. Rehearse each party a few days beforehand. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people just wing it the day of (my chapters even guilty of it). Make sure to run through it a few times with door songs, bump groups and ALL the logistics included. You can even make it fun and invite alumni or another fraternity/sorority to act as PNMs for practice.
  2. Though "formal" recruitment may be for only a few days, the process of recruiting members into your sorority is year-round. People are constantly touring your school, so having posters around and designating certain days a week to wear letters to class really works to get your name out. Also, social media is very important recently, so posting regularly on all accounts and keeping it updated is crucial. Get your chapter to help out at freshman move while wearing letters and maybe even pass out welcome favors with your sorority's name on it. Also ALWAYS encourage members to be active on campus because it gets your name out in different crowds and promotes diversity in the sorority. - Hanna Sirisky, Newberry College, VP Recruitment Alpha Xi Delta
  3. Do NOT be afraid of change. Recruitment has been known to be a fake process so let's reset that code! Don't hesitate to alter some traditions because you can do this while still maintaining your chapter's true culture. The chapters who stand out are the chapters who have unique and genuine qualities, so don't try to fit in with what everyone else is doing! - Jamie Weltsch, University of Oregon, VP Recruitment Delta Gamma

We hope you feel a bit more prepared for rush now that you have these tips for sorority recruitment. Be sure and share this article with anyone going through rush this fall, and don't forget to check out our other resources on Greek life!

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