As you walk into the room at the beginning of recruitment, look around for her. The woman who appears just slightly older than the rest, the one who’s not talking to any potential new members, surveying the room with one slightly arched, perfectly groomed eyebrow. That, my friends, is the real HBIC — the alumna overseeing recruitment. Whether she is the chapter advisor, the recruitment advisor, or a traveling consultant there on a visit, this is the woman who ultimately determines your future in this organization. While impressing your fellow students is an important part of recruitment, in most cases this alumna is the one who writes out that bid list and therefore is the one who actually holds all the power. And given that I’ve been that woman for multiple recruitment seasons since I graduated, let me give you some tips on how to impress me…her.
1. Look Nice
Seems like a no-brainer right? Obviously you are not going to go to recruitment in your shack shirt. But what looking nice means to you may mean something different to this woman. She’s likely very stylish, but at the same time she understands the value of looking professional, and that’s what she’s looking for when she’s evaluating your recruitment look. So, who’s the best person to ask to review your recruitment outfits if your goal is to impress the recruitment advisor? Your slightly older friend, cousin, or sister. Someone who’s in the workforce but can still wear a choker when she goes out. She’s probably up on fashion but knows not to show too much boob or too much leg.
2. Don’t Be Overconfident
There’s a fine line between believing in yourself and coming off like a pompous bitch, and occasionally some girls — particularly those legacies who believe that their mom/sister/aunt/grandma/cousin being a member means they are getting an automatic bid — stray into the latter area. And that kind of entitled attitude is one that a seasoned recruitment vet like an advisor can detect from a mile away without ever even speaking to you. No advisor wants to give a bid to an entitled PNM who will become a self-important, pain-in-the-ass chapter member, so even if your mom is A.) a graduate of the chapter; B.) national president of your organization and/or; C.) a major foundation donor, don’t ever act like anything is “owed” to you in recruitment.
3. Look Alive
Yes, you’re tired. We get it. Going through recruitment will literally be the most exhausting week of your college experience. But guess what? I’m here for all of these events too plus, I’m probably working full-time at my “real” job on top of it. So even if all you want to do it put your head down on that perfect couch in the chapter room that no one ever seems to sit on, suck it up. I’m here being all engaging and social and peppy with a full face of makeup and four-inch heels on, and I’m watching to make sure that you are too. If you can’t cut it on the PNM side, you sure as hell aren’t going to make it through recruitment on the chapter side.
4. Know What You Are Doing
As an advisor, one of the most aggravating things in the world is chapter members who, for all intents and purposes, are fucking clueless. You didn’t know that you had to pay your dues every single semester? You can’t manage to understand that your “going out” clothes are not proper attire for when someone from nationals visits? You didn’t understand that when we said that “work is not an excuse for recruitment” we meant that you actually had to take those days off? Ain’t no one got time for that. So the number one thing I’m watching for from a distance is that you understand this whole recruitment business, and you know what you are getting into. You’ve done your homework, you’ve researched the chapters you’re interested in, and you know — and appreciate — everything that being in a sorority entails. If you get that, everything else will fall into place.