PNM Recruitment Prep: Your Summer "To Do" Checklist
Panhellenic Registration is OPEN on many campuses and it’s time to prepare for fall formal recruitment. Put your best foot forward during the summer, so you will sparkle and shine as a Potential New Member (PNM) in August or September.
♦ 17 Smart Things To Do During the Summer Before Recruitment ♦
1. Ask about legacies in your family. You may discover that your grandmother was in a sorority back in the day. Check with your parents and other relatives for any and all greek connections. Moms, aunts, sisters and grandmothers qualify in most NPC chapters. Step-families count too. Determine your legacy status for as many chapters as possible. Legacies give you a big advantage during recruitment, so make sure you've explored your family tree extensively.
2. Write your PNM resume. It will be sent to your recommendation letter writers and used as reference for your online recruitment registration. Your PNM resume will serve as a terrific recruitment "prep" tool as well. Organizing your accomplishments into written form will help cement the details in your mind and improve the flow of your sorority sister conversations.
3. Select your PNM headshot. Book a professional photographer, ask a camera savvy friend to help, or use a photograph you already have. If you're taking a new picture, a simple, smiling, waist-up shot is ideal. Outdoor portraits with natural lighting, flattering attire and a friendly attitude are most popular for recruitment purposes. Click here to see to see lots of attractive headshot examples on the sorority sugar blog.
4. Clean up your social media. Before you register for recruitment, review your online sites with a sharp eye towards inappropriate photos. Sorority sisters will be checking. You want your online image to be positive in every way. Show your family, friends, lifestyle, interests, trips and more. But delete images that are too sexy, illegal, racist, abusive, or nasty in any way. (You want an upstanding online reputation for future employers as well.)
5. Register for sorority recruitment before the deadline. Complete the panhellenic application thoroughly and submit your PNM portrait. Remember to include all your vital information before you hit the submit button. Use your PNM resume for reference. Take your time filling out the recruitment registration. You don't want any mistakes and you don't want to leave important accomplishments off the form. Making changes later is tough. Do it right the first time.
6. Begin the recommendation letter process. Make a list of your targeted recommendation letter writers by chapter. Set a goal of one letter per chapter. After you have mailing or electronic submission instructions from the Recruitment Handbook, contact your known rec letter writers by phone, email or in person. Provide them with a cover letter/introduction, your PNM resume and headshot. Locate additional rec letter writers if needed. For the sororities you don’t have letters for, network in your hometown to find 'unacquainted' sorority women to contact. Reach out to friends of friends, sorority alumnae chapters and Panhellenic alumnae chapters in your town or county.
7. Read all the information you can get your hands on. Visit the Panhellenic website and read the sorority information published there. Read your Recruitment Handbook from cover to cover. Note special instructions and deadlines. Follow the recruitment schedule and PNM advice without fail. Keep track of announcements and updates by following the Panhellenic's social media. Make sure you do everything correctly.
8. Visit the website and social media of each individual chapter. Summer is the perfect time to learn more about each sorority on your future campus. Checking them out online and you’ll also get an overall feel for what the sorority “vibe” is. That information is very helpful when you're selecting recruitment fashions and trying to fit in with the sorority sisters during rush week. Is the style casual and relaxed? Or more prim and proper? As a PNM, you want to be on the same page as the sorority chapters in appearance and attitude.
9. Attend pre-recruitment events if possible. If you live close enough to attend an open house, an early orientation session, or a meet the greeks event ~ go for it. Participating in these preliminary occasions will help you become more comfortable with the sorority scene and it shows your enthusiasm for going greek. Be sure to sign in and chat it up with the sisters you meet. That said, if you live 3,000 miles away, and you just can’t attend any "pre" events, it’s perfectly ok. It's not a mandatory requirement. Do what’s feasible for you and your family’s finances.
10. Start shopping early. Once you know the fashion guidelines for each round, begin your rushwear shopping. This will allow you to find the best bargains. Recruitment fashions can get quite expensive, so don’t wait until the last minute and pay full price. If discount fashions are important for your budget, it takes more time to find them. Work on building your wardrobe over the next few months. Don’t forget shoes, accessories and jewelry too. Visit the sorority sugar Recruitment Style Guide for lots and lots of inspiration and direct links to affordable fashion sites!
11. Stay healthy over the summer. As the days get hotter, it’s easy to just lay by the pool and sip a cold drink. But you’ll need stamina to complete the rigors of recruitment. Not to mention looking fit in your beautiful rushwear. So don’t slack off during the summer months. Maintain a moderate exercise routine and watch what you eat and drink. The summer before rush is not the time to binge eat ice cream and cookies. Don’t sabotage your college years by making bad choices before you even arrive on campus. Stay healthy in mind and body.
12. Accomplish something this summer. It's not helpful to spend the summer months binge watching Netflix. Get an interesting summer job. Volunteer at a summer camp, help a children’s charity, give swimming lessons, intern at your family business. Make your pre-college time count. Your activites will give you something new and interesting to talk about during recruitment and make you a more well-rounded PNM.
13. Network with sorority sisters. Early on, it’s ok to let older friends in sororities know that you will be rushing at their university. Before the pre-rush “no contact” period, go ahead and share your recruitment plans with all the greek girls from your hometown. Excitedly share your plans on social media. It’s beneficial for the sororities to know who you are in advance. As a PNM, you want to be on the radar of your favorite houses before recruitment starts.
14. Fine tune yourself. If there are grooming issues, or health concerns, that you’ve been putting off ~ summer is the time to tackle your problem areas. Maybe you need your wisdom teeth removed, minor surgery, a special hair treatment, an eye exam, or some dermatology sessions. Whatever the nagging issue is, please deal with it before you leave for college. Your goal as a PNM is to feel 100% confident in every way. You won’t be at your best if you’re worrying about your chronic bad breath, eczema, or uncomfortable tooth pain. Achieving all-around wellness is important for being successful in sorority life. I am not advocating for cosmetic surgery, spray tans or teeth whitening. But if something needs attention, like a painful planter’s wart on the bottom of your foot, please have it looked at. You need to be feeling good and physically able to walk from house to house in serious heat.
15. Practice your conversation skills. Ask your mom, sister or a close friend to help you practice chatting about topics typically discussed during recruitment. Get comfortable talking about yourself and asking your conversation partner about herself. Attend adult social events this summer and speak with people you don’t know very well. One of the #1 abilities a PNM needs to have is being an excellent conversationalist.
16. Overcome your shyness. If you are super shy, you must put yourself into situations where you’re challenged to become more outgoing. Take a retail sales job, waitress at a busy restaurant, take a class in public speaking, work in customer service ~ anything to bring you out of your shell. Make this summer a real growth experience. Shyness is a serious negative during recruitment. Summer is the time to end your wallflower days.
17. Give yourself a final polish. In the last weeks before you leave for college, get yourself into top recruitment condition. Your hair should be cut and styled, get a manicure/pedicure, finalize your PNM wardrobe, touch up scuffs on your shoes, buy the right undergarments, shave/wax, pack a recruitment survival kit and complete any tasks you’ve been assigned - like making your own PNM name tag. Prepare several questions to ask the sisters during your first round. Get super excited. You will be meeting your future sorority sisters very soon!