We know this makes us sound completely old, but “back in the day,” high school seniors gathered letters of recommendation during the summer and sorority recruitment began in the fall. Today, many colleges host orientation events for freshman during the summer months which means that the pre-recruitment process begins much earlier.
Other things have changed, too. Instead of asking mom to take a picture by the Crepe Myrtle in the backyard (not that we're speaking from personal experience or anything), senior girls frequently bring special outfits to their senior portrait sessions so that they have the option of including professional prints in their sorority recruitment packets. And instead of mailing a basic cover letter along with SAT scores and a transcript, girls are creating branded notebooks, custom sticker labels, and logo-embellished stationery...the works!
Quick note: Don’t panic if you haven’t started thinking in the direction of sorority recruitment yet, and don’t feel like you have to design a couture personal logo, either! Solid information always trumps flashy presentation. With that said, creating a unique look for your sorority recruitment packet is a fun way to show off your personality and set yourself apart. Bottom line: tackle this recruitment task (and the entire rush process) in whatever way feels most like YOU.
Before fast-forwarding to the “fun part” of customizing the look of your packet, though, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of what a Recruitment Information Packet is, who is on the receiving end of these packets, and why they are necessary given today’s sorority recruitment environment. Let’s take a look at the basic information you’ll need to include in your sorority packet. After you’ve read through our list of recruitment essentials, be sure to download our FREE generic cover letter template!
WHAT IS A RECRUITMENT PACKET?
A Recruitment Information Packet, also known as a Recommendation Packet or Sorority Packet, is a compilation of all the information an alumna of a sorority needs in order to write a Letter of Recommendation for a Potential New Member (that's you!). You will need to create a separate packet for every single sorority on the college campus you will be attending. Alumnae will then use the packet to submit a recommendation and/or a personal Letter of Support on your behalf.
WHO GETS YOUR RECRUITMENT PACKET?
A sorority recruitment packet should be sent to a local alumna of every single sorority housed on your college campus. If you don’t know a former Theta, Kappa, or Delta Gamma personally, don’t worry—your local Alumnae Panhellenic Association should be able to provide you with a list of women to contact.
HOW DO YOU SEND A RECRUITMENT PACKET?
Call and ask each alumna on your list if she would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. After she agrees, packets can be delivered in person or by mail depending on each alum’s preference and proximity. After writing your letter of recommendation each alumna will mail your completed recruitment information packet to the proper sorority house on your behalf.
*RECRUITMENT PACKET ESSENTIALS:
Large envelopes: 9 × 11.5 inch envelopes should work perfectly. You will need to include an envelope that has been pre-stamped and pre-addressed to the appropriate sorority on your campus with every packet you deliver. The alumna will use this envelope to send your packet to the sorority after completing and inserting a recommendation. If you are mailing your packets to alumnae, you will need to place your pre-addressed/stamped envelope inside of an even larger manila or booklet-sized envelope for mailing purposes. More info on that here.
FOR EXAMPLE: If you are attending the University of Texas and seeking a recommendation for Delta Gamma, the pre-addressed/stamped envelope you deliver to a Delta Gamma alumna should look like this:
Delta Gamma, University of Texas
Attn: Recruitment Director
2419 Rio Grande St.
Austin, Texas 78712
- Postage: Again, you are responsible for paying the postage for your recruitment packets, not the women writing your letters of recommendation. Make sure to weigh your completed packets in advance so that the proper amount of postage is included on each envelope.
- Label stickers: Print your return address and the address of each sorority house on label stickers for a uniform look. Be sure to research the name of each sorority’s VP of Membership and address your envelope directly to her—she’s in charge of the entire recruitment process, and personal touches really do make a difference!
- 1 copy of your résumé
- 1 copy of your high school transcript (unofficial is okay—if including an official transcript, be sure to mark out your personal information, like your SS number)
- 1 copy of your ACT and/or SAT scores (if your scores are included on your transcript there's no need to include a separate document)
- Cover letter: Your cover letter should be addressed to the alumna writing a recommendation on your behalf, NOT the sorority house the packet will be forwarded to. If your letter-writer doesn’t know you personally, this is a great chance for you to introduce yourself and share why you're looking forward to attending college, joining a sorority, and getting involved on campus.
- Three pictures: Most sororities will ask for a variety of shots—at least one headshot, a full body pose, and a three-quarter view (learn more about the types of photographs to include in your Recruitment Information Packet here). It’s a great idea to affix a label to the back of each photo that includes your name, hometown, and high school—adorable personal stickers that can be used for this purpose are included in our Recruitment Information Packets, for the record!
- RIF/Letter of Support: Alumnae will take care of adding these docs to your packets prior to forwarding on to the sorority houses.
*Be sure to check each sorority’s website and your local alumnae Panhellenic's website for specific requirements!
Presentation folders: Folders are an excellent choice for those of you who will be dropping off your packets in person. If you're planning on ordering a set of our Pocket Folders, you also have the option to add a personalized folder sticker to give your packets a polished, branded look!
- Additional copies of your résumé, transcript, and/or SAT and ACT scores: Including two copies of these items isn't 100% necessary, but the practice is sometimes suggested by alumnae Panhellenics. The thought is that one copy of each item will be used exclusively by the alumna writing your letter of recommendation, and the other copy will be sent on to the sorority house. Think of this as a preventative measure taken against fingerprints and accidental coffee spills!
Curious about electronic recommendations? Stop by this post for more details!