Monday, July 20, 2009

Letter of Reccomendation!!!!

Most people ask questions about how to get a letter of recommendation. So I decided to create a blog regarding Letters of Rec.

For most organizations, including mine, when applying for membership you will need a letter of recommendation. For my organization, for example, you will need letters verifying your community service, as well as a letter from an ACTIVE, ACTIVE, and I stress ACTIVE member.

Speaking of which, let me stress how important this is. I remember we had one lady that we voted on and extended an invitation to join our outstanding organization. Her packet was TIGHT, GPA was on point, and we like the way she carried herself. Unfortunately, we later found out that the letter of recommendation she submitted was from an inactive soror. My heart broke for her, and she was DEVASTATED! Although it wasn't the girl's fault, it was heart wrenching for me to tell her that her packet was incomplete because she did not have a letter of recommendation from an ACTIVE member. I say that, to say this. When asking for a letter, make sure you ask questions as to if they are a FINANCIAL member. (I said active before, but what I meant to say was Financial). Now most of my sorors know the protocol, and they know that they have to be financial with headquarters when writing a letter of recommendation. Now I know what you are going to ask...."Vicki, how would I find out if they are financial? How can I find out? Well, let me give you some clues. If you are asking a soror who is ACTIVE with my chapter, then more than likely they are financial. If you have a soror who knows you are interested and is inviting you to chapter events, then more than likely they are financial. If you do community service with my org, and you establish a rapport with one of the chapter members, then 100% chances are, they are financial.

Okay now moving on, you want to make sure you document your history when performing community service. Now this doesn't include just writing in your journal "Today I worked with Habitat for Humanity, or "Today I fed the Homeless." What I mean is that you contact the head person of the org that you volunteered your services with, and ask them to write your letter of recommendation detailing your services. Also, make sure this is on the letterhead of the organization. Even if you are in H.S., or you are a freshman on campus and the Deltas are not active and won't be back on campus before you graduate from college, and you are looking to join Grad Chapter, you need to get on it NOW!!!!

I have come across so many women hysterical because they can't find the person that can verify the community service they did four years ago.  Or the person that can verify this information has retired, or they don't want to write them a letter of recommendation because they don't remember them performing the services.

Before I became a member, I had consistent volunteering services from Sophomore Yr in H.S., all the way up to the month of when I submitted my application. The Greek Organizations is looking for consistency! We FROWN upon people that only have community service the semester of the Rush/Informational, or community service the month before submitting their application. When we see that, we smell what we in Greek world like to call "T-Shirt Wearers" (I will get into that on another blog)

The point is, if you haven't started doing community service, then you need to start NOW!!!!! Some people ask where? Well, you can start with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Volunteering at your local Elementary, or H.S. United Way, Soup Kitchen, etc...There are TONS and TONS of organizations out there that need your help.

Just remember, make sure you get that letter of recommendation. Now some would ask, "At what point?" Well, let’s say you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Chances are you will be going there consistently on a monthly basis. During your services, I would mention to the person in charge that you are looking for a letter of recommendation and if they are willing to write you one. Make sure you keep in contact with them. *Get their email, work phone number, etc...* So when the time comes, they will have no problem at all writing your one. You also want to make sure you get a letter from someone that you have worked closely with. Someone that can not only speak about your volunteer services but also about your character.


  1. Does this apply for those interested in alumnae chapters? So if I volunteer for a after-school homework help program during the school, should I get a letter of rec from them when that program ends if it's possible that I won't participate the next school year? I was under the impression that for the alumnae chapter that would be considered as sporadic service if you volunteer for one program at one time, then another program at a different time, a maybe another program at a different time. All different organizations. Is this acceptable?

  2. I just posted a blog about grad/alum chapter. Hopefully it will answer any questions you may have.

  3. Hello,
    I was honored with a service award in high school and I have a letter from the mayor praising me for my services. Should I include that with my reccomendation letters? Even if it's been four years since I've won the award?

  4. I just found out that my close friend who promised me she would write me a letter of rec.. When I pledge is no longer active. What can I do? I am in tears over here because I was counting on her to write me one.....Do you have any advice? I am in desperate need!!!!!! I need a letter QUICK!!!!

  5. I am looking to be invited to join a grad chapter. My work/job deals with community service related events and initiatives, therefore I do not do any outside volunteer services because I am required to attend most functions due to my position. Do I need to participate in another organization, for that letter of recommendation or will one from my supervisor suffice with regard to community service??

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  9. What is the ideal number of community service hours are to be expected?

  10. I have been doing community service since I was a freshman in high school. I am now a junior in college. My dilemma is that when I volunteer, I volunteer with different organizations at different events. Everything is not always just one place doing one thing. I like to volunteer wherever I can, whenever someone is needed. With that being said, I am not sure who I would get to write my letter verifying my service. What should I do?

    1. You should find one org that you want to continue volunteering with consistently. Some orgs only want one letter from one public service entity, so multiple letters with 2 hours here and there won't do. I recommend starting a service and give yourself a year to attain about 80 hours.