Recruitment: Letters of Reference / Recommendation
Obtaining a letter of recommendation or reference is something some colleges or universities recommend potential new members to obtain prior to recruitment. They are written by sorority alumnae to introduce a potential new member to the collegiate sisters of her sorority to help the collegiate members determine if the potential new member would be a good match for their chapter. This is only one of the things a potential new member can do prior to participating in recruitment (click here for other recommended items) and can be time consuming. As you look to obtain recommendations, please ensure you leave enough time prior to your university or college deadlines.
While letters of recommendation are not required to participate in the recruitment process, they are common at most schools. With so many women going through recruitment, recommendation letters provide the chapter members an opportunity to be introduced to a woman prior to the beginning of the formal recruitment process. It is suggested to provide one letter per sorority on your campus.
How do I find someone to give me a recommendation letter?
First, ask the women you already know. Older relatives, neighbors, teachers, members of your local worship may be members of a sorority and you didn’t know it! Let them know that you will be going through recruitment in college and you would appreciate their providing a letter of information. Some other ideas include contacting women you have volunteered with, women you have worked with at a job, and your friends’ mothers. Even if the women you contact are not in a sorority themselves, they may know others who are.
How do I ask someone for a recommendation letter, especially if I don’t know them?
- DO remember that you are asking these alumnae to introduce you to their sisters. Make your request with courtesy.
- DO make your request to each sorority alumna individually.
- DO make your request as soon as possible. Late spring/early summer is best for a fall recruitment. If you wait too long, your alumna may not have the time to write your introduction and may have to decline.
- DO provide your resume along with a current picture electronically. This makes it easier for an alumna to pass your information on with their introduction.
- DO return calls promptly if an alumna calls or requests more information.
- DO follow up with the alumna to confirm she sent a letter of recommendation on your behalf and to thank her for her time.
- There is NOT a sample of recommendation letter. This is a private correspondence between sisters and information letter formats are specific to each sorority. Every sorority handles references differently, and the use of the recommendations on individual campuses varies even within the same sorority. The alumnae you request letters from should contact their sorority headquarters for the most up to date guidelines. It is the responsibility of the alumna to obtain her sorority form, complete it and submit it according to her group’s requirements.
I’ve looked everywhere for sources for letters of recommendation and still can’t find one. What if I don’t have any friends or relatives who were in a sorority?
If you cannot find anyone in your local community who was a member of the sororities you will meet at recruitment, try inquiring with your local Alumnae Panhellenic Association. A list of Alumnae Panhellenic Associations can be found at www.npcwomen.org. It is in your best interest to get your letters from a Panhellenic closest to your hometown (eg, where you went to high school) whenever possible.
If you live in Georgia, the Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association has volunteers from NPC sororities who may be willing to be contacted to help with an introductory letter of information. If you would like to request our assistance, please complete and submit the form below.
As you prepare to complete the request for a letter of recommendation, ensure the following steps have been taken:
- All personal contacts have been exhausted for a letter of recommendation (family, friends, etc).
- Registration for recruitment at the college/university is complete.
- A resume, including a current picture, is a available upon request.
- Only the the sororities selected are active on the campus of choice, and they have been researched to learn about their values, philanthropic pursuits and successes.
- Individual submitting the request is available to be contacted via phone or email for more information.