The low-down on sorority recruitment letters of recommendation

A group of potential new members during Icewater Round at recruitment last year. Photo courtesy LSU Panhellenic.

School might barely be out, but this fall’s sorority recruitment is already in full swing. The months leading up to the actual week of parties are packed with anxious preparation by both the girls who will be rushing, or potential new members, and the chapter members themselves. But before outfits and shoes are chosen, the most important first step–other than registration–is letters of recommendation.

For those who are not familiar, the letters are written on behalf of a potential new member by an alumna from one of the school’s sororities. Similar to a job recommendation, the short letters, which are sent directly to the chapter at which the potential new member will be rushing, help girls stand out out by giving current chapter members information about an individual’s personality, ties to the sorority and more. And while the alum writing the recommendation does not have to have attended the school the potential new member will be attending, they do have to have been in one of the sorority’s national chapters, and it helps if they actually know the potential new member well.

Potential new members receive their bids at Bid Day 2018. Photo courtesy LSU Panhellenic.

Beyond the letters themselves, in recent years, potential new members have been known to do much more than simply mailing off their résumés and pictures to recommendation writers in small generic envelopes. Rather, girls are seizing the opportunity to make a memorable first impression through the stationery they use to provide that information to the person who will be writing each “rec.”

“Your recommendation folders are a great way to make a first impression because you get to brag about yourself a little bit,” explains Meredith Adams, a past recruitment team member for Delta Zeta at LSU. “The presentation is important, but the information should also be organized and easy to read. You want the person writing your recommendation to be able to find everything they’re looking for.”

From monogrammed folders to branded suites and much more, the effort that goes into the folders that will eventually hold the ever-so-important letters of recommendation has increased exponentially. However, in addition to preparing for rush, girls, and their parents, are also faced with the work that goes into graduation parties, dorm-room decorating and all the other adjustments that go along with the start of college.

To lend a helping hand, The Keeping Room is offering rush packets that include all the necessary components of a standout folder. Girls can simply make an appointment to drop by and select their font, color scheme and monogram, and the team at the store will get everything ready for envelope stuffing.

“One of the biggest things we do is help the girls with the wording of their résumés,” says Andi Berthelot, owner of The Keeping Room. “We guide them and just touch up the wording to make it sound a little more professional. We want them to present themselves in the best way possible.”

“The most important things to include on your résumé, other than your GPA, are your extracurricular activities,” adds Adams. “School clubs, sports teams, jobs, volunteer work and more are things that all chapters are looking for. A sorority cannot operate without the leadership and help of its members, and chapters are looking for girls who want to be involved. In this case, less is not more! Potential new members should also include any school awards they received in high school or college scholarships. Yes, even TOPS.”

Each kit comes with 25 packets, enough for each of the sororities at LSU. And while girls still have to put all of the pieces together and deliver them to alums, Berthelot says the pre-made packets end up saving a lot of time and stress.

“It’s just one less thing they have to take care of and, when you don’t really know what you’re doing, it’s nice to have someone helping you out,” says Berthelot. “These folders are your first impression. They’re setting the tone for you, and that is so important.”


To make a consultation appointment, visit thekeepingroombr.com or call the store at 225-926-2500. And to register for LSU’s sorority recruitment and learn more about the process, visit the official page here.

What rush questions do you want answered? Let us know in the comments below.

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