What graduate doesn’t wish to find a new car with a big bow on top in the driveway? While it would be nice to begin a new phase in life with a fresh set of wheels, many gift-givers tend to lean toward more practical items when buying gifts for recent graduates.
Though they might not prove as flashy as a new car, the following gifts can still excite and help students who are going off to work or continuing their educations.
· Résumé service: In this competitive job market, individuals need to take advantage of every opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Résumé rules have changed, and graduates will be best served by companies that know the ins and outs of writing effective résumés. Employers often use digital scanning software to sift through applicants, so knowing which keywords and tags to use can ensure a résumé gets noticed. Costs can range from $100 to $200, depending on the services desired.
· Electronics: Technology changes on a dime, and it benefits graduates to be equipped with the latest gadgets. A new tablet, laptop or desktop computer may make a great gift. If the price tag is a little high, consider pooling resources with other family members or friends and give electronics as a joint gift.
· Noise-cancelling headphones: A set of durable headphones to block out ambient noise may be helpful for graduates going on to college or post-graduate work. Grads entering the workforce can enjoy silence or music as they commute to their offices. These headphones also work well on flights, making them ideal gifts for new grads whose first jobs require a lot of travel.
· Home luxuries: Outfit soon-to-be college freshmen with some of the niceties of home. Upgrade dorm furniture with accent pillows or a more comfortable mattress. Put together a luxury gift basket with a high-quality robe, electric razor, spa shampoo and other toiletries.
· Travel tickets: Treat graduates to a trip away from home. Travelers often gain new perspectives and inspiration when visiting a city, state or country for the first time. Travel is good for future entrepreneurs and may help a person stand out in a long list of job applicants. According to Forbes.com, travel can help cultivate relationships outside of one’s existing network and provide ideas from others outside of graduates’ existing personal and professional circles.
· New wardrobe: Gift cards to retailers that specialize in business attire often make welcome gifts for new grads. Some students may need to update their wardrobes so they can look more professional on interviews or at school networking functions.
· Luggage: A new suitcase or travel bag is quite handy for students studying abroad. Choose durable luggage that can handle the rigors of travel so cash-strapped new grads have something they can rely on for years to come.
· Money: Money remains a one-size-fits-all gift that can be put to many uses. Invest in a graduate’s future by buying stock in a stable company, contribute to a college savings account or help grads begin paying back their student loans.
Practicality can come in handy when buying graduation gifts. The best gifts are often those that graduates can put to good use.