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Old 09-29-2015, 05:53 PM
pagie14 pagie14 is offline
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Questions about Recommendations?

I know it's super early, considering the pledge classes of 2015 have only just been selected and such, but I'm trying to be really prepared as I don't want to end up heartbroken if dropped by each sorority. I don't think my grades, service, activities, or appearance are a huge concern so much that any of them would get me booted from a sorority, but I'm a little confounded by some things about recommendations and I really think it would be cool to have that edge in recruitment.

Just as a disclaimer, I'm really sorry as I'm sure some of these questions have been asked, but I've been unable to find a lot of them when searching through the threads thus far!

If saying the school name is a bad move, can someone please let me know? But as of right now, I hope to go to UF, and although I haven't been accepted, I'm hoping I will be. It isn't definite, but my statistics look to be enough based on what I know.

1st! I know this is an SEC school, so I was thinking a couple recommendations, but how many would you say is the right amount? 1, to minimize the reading the sorority has to do? Or as many as possible for the most hypothetical "points"? Or the happy medium, with 2?

2nd thing. I don't really understand the tiers crap, so that isn't factoring into anything. My aunt was very connected in sorority ABC back when she went to the same university I hope to go to, and from what I've read, it seems really cool and down-to-eath but the reviews are VERRRRRRRRY mixed so I honestly have no idea and don't expect to until actual recruitment. A cousin of mine also was in sorority DEF at the same school, however these are the only two confirmed recommendations that I can think of from people I know directly.
Anyways, I read in another thread about "Letters of Support", which are somehow different from letters of recommendations. Would it be better for those who know me personally to write these letters of support, since they know me well enough to give a strong profile of me all around? Or should I just have them write typical recommendations?

3rd thing. Is it too early for me to be worrying about this? (I mean, probably, it's like September... :') )

3.5th thing. If it isn't too early, what can I do now? I don't think it's even possible to send recommendations yet, but should I start talking to people now? Or wait a little bit?

4th thing. So I've heard you need a headshot, a full body shot, and a resume. Should the headshot and other photo be done professionally? Because I don't exactly have any of those, but I assume an iPhone-quality picture taken by a friend might be frowned upon. For the resume, what do I even put on that? Is it just like the college application resumes?

5th(and final!) thing. How do you approach women at the panhellenic conferences that I've heard are good for getting recs?

Thankyou so much! Also, I apologize if any of this was asked before!
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:07 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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The Panhellenic Conference isn't an event. It's a group of 26 national sororities called the National Panhellenic Conference - like the SEC is the SouthEastern Conference. Not sure if that's what you meant or not. Your best places to get recommendations are from people who know you personally.
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:57 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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You need 2 recs per chapter at Florida. They don't care about letters of support (that's mostly a Texas thing) so forget that. All should be from women you know if at all possible (always better to have a rec for anything from someone who can speak personally).

How do you find them? First, make a list of all the chapters at Florida - or whatever school you end up attending. Then make a list of everyone you know who went to college - friends of your parents, friends' parents, teachers, Sunday School teachers, coaches, employers, neighbors, relatives,etc. Ask the women if they are in a sorority and if it's one you need. Ask the men if their wives, sisters, mothers, etc are sorority women. When you find one and she agrees to do a rec, ask if she knows anyone in the other groups you need. We Greek women know other Greek women.

It is not too early to get your list together and firm up who can do one.

THEN, work on your resume - awards, jobs, activities, etc. There are plenty of examples online. GPA, parents' Greek affiliation, any other close relatives as well.

In April, give each rec writer a packet with the resume, a copy of your transcript, the pictures (yes, good snapshots are fine - they want to be able to recognize you when you walk in the door next fall), and a large manila envelope addressed to the chapter (you can get that from the UF web site) with sufficient postage (weigh the resume, transcript, pictures, envelope and 3 plain sheets of paper so get the proper postage).
Enclose a note thanking them and letting them know how much their help means.

Three - four weeks later, send another thank you note to them. In case they haven't done the rec yet, this will spur them to do so. And be sure your Greek relatives do a rec as well.

Ignore, ignore, ignore tent talk. Make up your own mind.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:02 PM
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irishpipes irishpipes is offline
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It isn't too early to be thinking about recruitment, but it is too early to be worrying/freaking out about it. The Alumnae Panhellenic in your town or a town near you is likely to host a preview/information session for future PNMs in the Spring. You may want to do an internet search to see if your town has an alumnae panhellenic chapter and if they did a session last year. Many times these sessions include information about recs and a fashion show giving ideas for recruitment clothing. I know our local session includes a "sign up" to send your electronic resume to local alumnae chapters to solicit recs.

Different sororities have different names for recommendations. You will likely find that most people simply call them recs. However, technically some are called RIFs or MIFs, etc. you don't need to concern yourself with that. Additionally, some sororities differentiate between a rec (which is a standardized form for an alumna to complete) and a letter of rec/letter of support which is typically a personal letter from an alumna who knows the PNM well. Some sororities require at least a rec while letters of support are kind of icing on the cake. You don't need to become an expert on any of that. Just get recs from every sorority (I'm not particularly in the know for UF, but my guess is that the UF folks would suggest 2 recs per chapter.)

You will need to compile a nice resume this Spring. You should have it available digitally. It should contain:
Complete name plus preferred nick name
Complete address
Parents' names
Name and address of your high school
Weighted and unweighted GPAs
Standardized test scores for ACT and/or SAT
Any AP classes taken
Academic honors
Clubs and organizations in which you are active, including any offices held
Athletic, musical, etc activities
Jobs you have had and approximate employment dates
Hobbies, interests, things you like to do
Your intended university and major/minor

Some rec writers may ask for additional information as well.

Your photo should be available in digital format as well, and senior pictures work best. Some rec writers prefer to have a copy of your transcript as well, so be prepared to supply that. I know my sorority uses electronic recs so we need your photo and resume to be electronic, but other groups like the traditional paper resumes and photos.

Make sure your resume is proof-read and organized. No rec writer wants to suffer through a poorly composed resume. I know when I receive a good one, it makes me all the happier to write a glowing rec.

The best and most powerful recs are written by people who know you well. All teachers went to college, so it stands to reason that many may be sorority alumnae, or have wives who are sorority alumnae. Start asking around. If you find a sorority alumna, ask if she knows other sorority alumnae who could help you. Sorority women tend to know other sorority women. If you live anywhere near UF, these women are likely to be well attuned to the need for recs and will be likely to help PNMs secure them. They've been there. September is way too early to send recs to UF for next Fall. Most recs are submitted in May and June in my experience. Make a list of all the sororities at your school and write down who has agreed to write recs to make sure you have them covered. And, a week or so after you supply your resume and photo to your rec writers, send them personal thank you notes (not emails or texts).

Good luck and enjoy your senior year! Keep your grades high.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:26 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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If you are in a decent sized city, there may be an active panhellenic alumnae chapter. And they may have a website or FB page. The alum panhellenic chapter may hold an informational meeting for graduating seniors at some point in the new year.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:47 PM
jolene jolene is offline
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If you are in the Atlanta area, here's our Panhellenic:

Since I only wrote my first rec earlier this year, I originally thought I just needed to write a glowing letter to support the PNM. I was surprised at the amount of detail the official rec form wanted. Don't sororities already get GPA and extracurricular info in the rush registration? I couldn't fill out ALL of it, but was able to do most of it. Heck, even for girls I know really well I prob couldn't fill out the whole thing. O.o
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:58 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Originally Posted by jolene View Post
Don't sororities already get GPA and extracurricular info in the rush registration? I couldn't fill out ALL of it, but was able to do most of it. Heck, even for girls I know really well I prob couldn't fill out the whole thing. O.o
Not always. Some schools only give name and hometown and maybe the high school to the chapters. And of course, if she meets the minimum GPA to sign up for recruitment if they have one. So, you need that.

And if you couldn't answer all the questions on the form, YOU need to ask some questions! Since you know now, you should be able to have that info available in the future. It's not bad form to ask around - even about people you already know.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:43 PM
cebrain cebrain is offline
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My daughter is working on the same thing as a senior, so I know you aren't to early. We were told to use the social resume example that the Houston panhellenic group has as an example on their website. We tweaked it to suite her needs but it is a great guideline.

She also contacted a good friend of hers that loves to dabble in photography to take several pictures all over town in cute outfits and great natural backdrops. She has about 100 digital pictures that include head shots and full body shots that she can use. She paid her friend some money for her time, and her friend can use them now to drum up more business for senior pictures.

She is also going to an SEC school but just got her letter of acceptance. As soon as she posted her acceptance letter on Facebook she had several ladies step up and offer to write her recs and work with her on getting her ready this year. You will be surprised how wonderful so many are about wanting to help you have a successful recruitment.

The last thing she has done is make a chart on her whiteboard and wrote down all the sororities on campus and has made a check list for each one for rec writers, letters of support, and things unique to each chapter.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:15 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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Originally Posted by pagie14 View Post
But as of right now, I hope to go to UF, and although I haven't been accepted, I'm hoping I will be. It isn't definite, but my statistics look to be enough based on what I know.
Don't get your pretty sorority cart too far in front of the horse You need to start some planning and identify sorority alumnae that you know, but don't ask for recs yet. Get your acceptance by the university before moving too far ahead.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:43 PM
BlueCarnation BlueCarnation is offline
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Yes, once you get accepted, get all this information ready. My sorority's recommendations are now done online, so if someone were asking me for a recommendation, I would want everything electronically. I would suggest asking each person if they would prefer it electronically or in paper. Don't bother printing everything out until and unless they tell you they want hard copies.

Good luck!
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