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!