Tips for Putting Your Sorority Recruitment Packets Together
Getting ready for rush week is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of being in college. On one hand, you're super interested to find out where your Greek home will be and meet all your future lifelong friends. On the other, you may have your heart set on one sorority or have no clue what to expect!
The Panhellenic women you're about to meet are feeling their share of jitters too. They have so many new faces to welcome and tough choices to make.
This is why sorority recruitment packets are so important. Packets help potential new members make a good first impression. They're like a resume to join sororities - something that speaks highly of you before you even meet the women. Plus, packets make it easier for sororities to identify you and remember you. If you're not sure how to put your packet together, follow the tips below.
Know What Goes Into a Packet
Your packet should include:
- Your resume
- An official copy of your high school academic information
- An official copy of your ACT or SAT scores
- Three pictures - typically a headshot, a full body pose and a three-quarter pose. Label each of these with your name, the name of your high school and your hometown.
- Your recommendation letter or letters
You may choose to put all of this in a large envelope for mailing or deliver it in person. If you deliver it in person, you might opt to use a nice presentation folder with optional personal stickers for a polished look. Also, be sure to check your potential new sororities specific requirements for packets. For example, some may request multiple copies of your resume, academic records or test scores.
Start Preparing Well Ahead of Time
Rush week can sneak up on you if you're not careful. Between packing up for college, saying goodbye to your home and friends, and moving in, time flies. One day you're choosing your recruitment outfits, and the next, packets are due.
Don't put off preparing your packet. In fact, try to get the process started before you even start thinking about outfits. It's easy to take one day to go to the mall and find everything you want to wear. Sending out recruitment packets, contacting alumni and making sure your packet reaches your school's Panhellenic organization is a totally different story.
The sooner you start preparing, the more time you have to put your best foot forward. This applies to everything from the colors of the packet you choose to the kind of stationary you want and who you ask to write your recommendation letters.
Choose your colors carefully. Going with school colors isn't very memorable, and accidentally picking one sorority's colors doesn't send a good message to the other Greek organizations you're going to visit.
Beyond the aesthetic appeal, you want to make sure your packet means something. Take your pictures well ahead of time. Choose your location and photographer carefully, and try to make the photos capture who you really are.
As far as the written portion goes, give the women who are writing your recommendation letters as much information as possible. This will work out in your favor when they tell Panhellenic women how amazing you are.
Don't Be Shy About Reaching Out
Speaking of the women who are writing your recommendation, don't be shy about reaching out. Maybe you just found out a distant cousin is part of the sorority you'd like to join or you're not sure how to bring up rush week to your favorite high school teacher.
Remember, no one can write your letter(s) until you reach out to them, and they need time to prepare too. Suck it up and make the call or send the email, and when you do so, just be yourself.
This goes for calling your grandma or reaching out to an alumnus you've never even met. Your personality is what the Panhellenic women are interested in, so let it shine from the get-go with recommendation writers.
What does it mean to be yourself during rush week and packet preparation? Aren't you yourself every day? Yes and no; there are many ladies who go through recruitment trying to fit labels they think they need to be.
This does no good for the woman or the sorority she's about to join. For starters, there are many outside perceptions of certain sororities that just aren't true. You may attempt to fit a certain "type" only to realize you've totally missed the mark.
ou should also be trying to find the best home possible, and that's going to be the one that best matches your genuine self. Say what you feel and wear what you'd like. As long as you're following the dress code during recruitment and being polite during the packet preparation process, everything else will fall into place. If the sorority is not for you, you likely won't be chosen.
Say Thank You
Keep in mind that being polite requires a courtesy to everyone involved in your recruitment process, not just the sorority women you're about to meet. Send a hand-written thank-you card to everyone who is writing you a recommendation letter.
This is common sense for some people, but other young women totally drop the ball here. Imagine if you were writing a recommendation for someone. You take time out of your schedule to speak of her in a good light, and she doesn't even say thank you.
How would you feel if this happened to you? Chances are, it would sting a bit. So make sure you don't do this to the people who are helping you. It's bad form all around.
Writing a thank you card takes only a few minutes of your time, and it can make someone's whole day. The woman writing your recommendation will be more likely to speak very highly of you when you show her common courtesy, and more importantly, she'll know you value and appreciate her efforts.
Find Your Home with Show-Stopping Sorority Recruitment Packets
Here's one more tip about preparing sorority recruitment packets: don't put too much pressure on yourself! At the end of the day, this is just an introduction.
You don't have to break the bank for fancy stationery or too many copies if you don't feel comfortable doing so. You also don't need to stress over what you wear or getting perfect pictures made.
Just follow the tips mentioned above, relax and have fun. Your packets are sure to catch the eye of the women you're bound to call sisters, and your genuine self is what will seal the deal.
Everything else is just part of the process. Rush week can be a little stressful and a bit intimidating with so many women to meet and such long hours. But at the end of it all, you'll find your home, and that's a joy like no other.
For more on preparing for rush week and Greek life as a whole, check out our robust blog.
Once you land the sorority of your dreams, you can shop Greek U for some great merchandise to show off your Greek letters! You can even customize something for yourself.