Monday, January 6, 2014

Letter of Recommendation: Who Should I ASK?????



So I know it's that time of year where a lot of prospective members are scrambling trying to get everything in order for them to pledge XYZ Sorority/Fraternity. As I stated before, each organization has their own process/procedure when applying for membership. Most orgs will ask you for a letter of recommendation from an active and financial member. Here are a few tips I can give you regarding this matter.

1. Ask someone you KNOW! This is SO important! They need to know who they are writing a letter to. Do you know them personally? More importantly do you know THEM personally? You want them to "brag" about you, and how can they brag if they don't' know you?

2. Are they active and more importantly FINANCIAL with the organizations? I am assuming if you asking them then  you have seen them participate in chapter events such as community service events, fundraising events, etc. Why is this important? Well several organizations require that its' prospective members get a letter of recommendation from a "dues paying" member. Are you trying to ask someone who haven't been active for a while? Chances are, if they have not be active with a chapter, they are not financial. This will deem your application of being invalid.

3. Always have an A, B, AND C plan as to someone writing your LOR. (Letter of Recommendation). I say this because you want to make sure you can get in touch with the person, prepare yourself for possibly getting  a "no", or the you may find out that the ONLY person you relied on is not financial. When I joined what feels like many moons ago, I had ONE person in mind. My ex-boyfriend's sister. I spoke to her on the phone a couple of times, and when the time came, she wasn't able to write me a letter of recommendation. Well let me clarify, by stating when the time came, I meant when I felt COMFORTABLE asking her, it wasn't like I needed it for an upcoming rush or anything like that. Then I met and grew close to another member at my job while we both were working as sales associates at Marshall Fields. It was funny because I ended up transferring to the school she pledged at. Two years later when I asked for an LOR, I found out she was inactive. DANG! So disappointed, but THANKFULLY I had a C plan. And this Soror was more than willing to write me a letter of recommendation. I found out many yrs. later that she NEVERS write a letter of recommendation for ANYONE, so the fact thats he wrote me one tells me that I made quite an impression on her.

As for me???? I have been asked 25 times to write a LOR, and how many have I written? 1….YUP JUST ONE! I am very picky on who I choose to write a letter to. I have to really know you to write you a letter, and I just don't be writing letters all willy nilly.

3. The moment  you find out you want to join XYZ organization, find out who you would like to write your letter of recommendation. This is important and will allow you figure out if they fit number 2 and if not, hopefully you can talk to them openly about any suggestions that they may have as to who could write you a letter.

4. GIVE the recommender plenty of time to write your letter. Asking at the last min might result in delays of the chapter receiving your letter, or the person saying they don't have time, or just a point-blank NO!

These are the top FOUR I would suggest you follow when asking for a LOR.

Wishing ALL the prospects for Spring 2014 all the best! 

32 comments:

  1. Hello,

    I love you blog! It is so insightful. I recently submitted my application for DST for a local alumnae chapter. I completed my interview and I really feel like I bombed it! Someone who was in the room said it was average but I did not go as detailed as I could of on some questions. My application package was good, I had a recommendation letter from a current member of the chapter and my community service letters demonstrated my skills and my attributes . I also have completed my Master's degree...Do you think I still have a chance of being offered membership?

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    1. You probably did better than you think. I have my interview this evening for a local alumnae chapter and I'm on pins and needles because interviews always make me nervous. As long as you get the majority vote of the chapter there's still a possibility that you could get in.

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    2. She said you were average. Meditate on that instead of thinking you bombed. I know that afterwards you were probably thinking about what you wished you would have said, but hopefully you'll get to tell your line sisters all about it :)
      My interview was yesterday, and I was surprised to see an audience. There are so many things I wish I would have said, but I'm going to remain optimistic.

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    3. I hope your interview was great! Mine is next week, I'm excited yet extremely nervous.

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    4. Good luck Jennifer. I did okay on my interview and now I'm just waiting and trying to keep my mind on something else.

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  2. Gathering all of my materials now and placing in the mail tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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    Replies
    1. Do you have tips on how to interview? Do's and don'ts?

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    2. Do show up 15 min early & wait until called. It shows you are serious. Wear business attire, little make-up, modest jewelry, no form fitting clothing. Do not wear their colors, stick to neutral colors:brown, black, grey, white. Be ready to share how they could benefit from allowing you to join, not just how you could benefit from them. Be humble.

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  3. Good luck to you Jennifer. I'm still patiently for my opportunity.

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    1. Oops, I meant to say I'm still patiently waiting for my opportunity.

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  4. I'm really interested in pledging, but how will I know when another line is coming out in order to make my schedule light and plan ahead financially?

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  5. I'm interested in joining a sorority but somewhere along the way I stopped taking 20 hours and dropped down to 12 (which is still full time), maintained my grades and had a baby. Ive been in school 3years but my graduation class has changed. I know that joining will be time consuming but I was wondering what would be my chances of even getting in? Will they look at me differently because I had a baby during undergrad?

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  6. I had my interview about seven weeks ago, does it generally take this long for a decision to be made.

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    1. I had my interview in mid-February and we just received word from Nationals on last Thursday...........

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    2. By receiving word do you mean National Headquarters told you who was accepted and/or not accepted?

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    3. A few days after my interview I was extended the invitation to join the chapter. But it's not official until the National Headquarters give their okay.

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    4. Jennifer, did you you make it? Are you a member now?

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    5. Yes I am......I finally crossed the burning sands in April.

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    6. Congrats to you on crossing the burning sands. The chapter I was interested in joining didn't have a membership intake this past spring so I am still patiently waiting. And now that there is a moratorium in place I have to wait even longer. But I won't complain and I know it will happen in due time hopefully. Again, congrats to you.

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  7. I unfortunately don't know any sorors. I'll never get invited.

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    Replies
    1. Any time the sorority puts on a program I would attend. Be visible, and let the sisters know that you're interested.

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    2. This is what I did. I got to know members of the Sorority (now my sorority) through attending public events. After meeting members at public events, they began inviting me to events that were not even on their web site. Keep attending and just be yourself. Smile and introduce yourself and, when the time comes, let them know that you are interested in a subtle but definite manner.

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  8. I would really like to see your opinion on the memorandum on MIP

    Thanks

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  9. Hi, Ive been doing my research and studying on Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and I have a relationship with the members of the chapter on my campus, I'm wondering could one of them write my recommendation letter? She is graduating this December and they wont have a line until Spring 2016. Is her writing my letter of recommendation acceptable?

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  12. i am hoping to be invited to join Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, inc. this upcoming spring. i have been getting my packet together over break, writing my interest letter, finalizing a few more service hours, im friends with many of the sisters and i atend basicaly all of their events. However I grew up in a predominantly white area therefore i never met any people involved in greek life (besides members of my family) until i got to college. because of this I dont know any AKAs to write me a letter of reccomendation. However, their website checklist does not 100% specify if the LOR has to be from a member. The idea of this really frightens mebecause i honestly do not know a single member. do you know if this is the requirement for LOR ????

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  13. Like the previous commenter above, I'm curious of this too. I'm interested in pledging "XYZ" sorority but every active/ financial member that I truly know and truly knows me enough to "brag" on me belongs to "ZYX" sorority or fraternity (I have a lot of male family members in BGLOs).. So, does the LOR have to come from someone in XYZ? Are members of fraternities allowed to write LORs? just curious....

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  14. Letters are crucial documents for job seekers. No resume should go out without an accompanying cover letter. And that letter is your first introduction to that employer. letter of recommendation for business school

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  15. I am thinking about trying for Alpha Kappa alpha and I wanted to know more about the LOR. I know someone who will write it for me , but she just recently got reactivated is that okay or do I need someone who has been activated ?

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    1. As long as she is currently financial, you should be okay. Keep us updated on your process. I was just invited to join AKA and i hope you get invited to join.

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