Practical Gifts for Every College Graduate

college_graduation_dayFamily and friends want to give the college graduates in their life a meaningful and practical gift. In order to do so, you need to assess where they are in their life because each grad’s needs are different.

Consider the following gifts for these different types of grads:

For the Graduate Who Has Everything

  • Resume Service: An employer’s first impression of a grad comes from his or her cover letter and resume. In this competitive work environment, one mistake may be a deal breaker for hiring a new graduate. So, to keep up with the rest of the pack, a resume writing service is a useful gift for the college graduate that may have very little debt, but needs a boost to get into the workforce.
  • Foreign Language Lessons: This is a unique, but practical gift. For those graduates with skills that may take them abroad, foreign language classes or language software like Rosetta Stone will offer an extra advantage to an already successful background. Recent graduates automatically become more attractive if they can boast proficiency in a global language like Mandarin Chinese.
  • Briefcase: If you are looking for a sentimental, but useful gift, a briefcase will offer moral support for the college graduate as he or she embarks on his or her first interview. There are several styles ranging from vintage to leather briefcases. As an added bonus, you can personally engrave the briefcase with the graduate’s initials.

For the Average Graduate

  • Gift Cards: Gift cards are a welcome gift for most college graduates. Because they likely graduated with a lot of debt, a gift card can provide a great way to buy groceries, clothes or other basic needs.
  • Interview Clothes: Buying a business suit can be expensive, but is necessary to make a good impression at a job interview. For the middle-of-the-road graduate, spending money on clothes might pose a stretch on funds, so offering to purchase a suit and tie for men or pumps and a business skirt for women will allow graduates to make a professional first impression.
  • Furniture: Chances are your graduate might appreciate an upgrade on their furnishings. A new couch, a comfortable mattress and a dining table would nicely spruce up their apartment and let them feel like an adult.

For the Graduate Just Starting Out

  • Student Loan Payments: Loan payments are a problem for many students, especially those who don’t have a job offer yet or a low-paying job. Offering to help the recent graduate with a few student loan payments while he or she searches for that first job can allow your grad to look without worrying about finances.
  • Down Payment on a Car: For the college graduate that struggles with finances, buying a vehicle might be out of the question unless he or she receives help on a down payment. If you are worried about your grad’s credit, DriveTime offers some advice on its Twitter page. This gift is a great way to offer financial support and also encourage your grad to be accountable for future monthly payments.
  • Savings Account: Starting a savings account for the recent graduate will help alleviate worries about transitioning into the real world. Even a small amount can offer enough cushion in case an emergency arises.

Transitioning from college to the workforce is a milestone event for students. Loved ones can offer practical gifts to help make that road a little easier.

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