As the college student in your life graduates to the "real world," there's a lot they'll need to make a smooth transition. Suddenly thrust into a life of job-searching and apartment-hunting, they'll likely be spending the next few months collecting the things—and skills—they'll need to survive as an official adult. While cash and gift cards can certainly help them on their way, these aren't the most original or thoughtful gifts. If you really want to make an impact, consider one of these ideas for a gift with lasting impact.
If they haven't already learned the lost art of letter-writing, recent grads should educate themselves in this department sooner rather than later. Between sending thank-you notes to generous relatives and following up after job interviews, they'll be sending out more mail than they ever have before—and you can help them look polished and professional doing it. Have a stationery suite customized with their name and/or monogram, but leave off their address, as they may end up moving a few times before settling down.
Luggage is one of those things that most college kids don't think about—it's not uncommon to see students carrying their belongings around in a trash bag. While that may be one of the most affordable options out there, it's certainly not the most mature. Encourage their love of travel by gifting them a set of nice luggage, including a toiletry bag, an overnight bag, and a larger bag for longer trips.
As the recent grad begins their job search, they'll need to be armed with a stellar resume to help them compete with other job-seekers. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge when they're just entering the workforce. Give them the help they need to create a powerful resume by setting them up with a resume-writing expert.
An Interview Outfit
Appearance is important when it comes to job interviews, and the right outfit can mean the difference between getting a call-back and being ignored. Help your grad feel confident in their search by giving them a suit, a well-tailored dress, or a gift certificate to a store where they can pick out their own. For a thoughtful touch, include a monogrammed garment bag so they can protect their special outfit.
A Meal Service
After a lifetime of relying on mom's cooking, dining hall fare, and takeout, it can be tough to adjust to the habit of home-cooking. But a newly minted grad's budget often requires that they eat at home. Luckily, there are lots of meal subscription services available (like Blue Apron and Plated) that make cooking essentially idiot-proof. Provided with all of the necessary ingredients and recipes, they'll have everything they need to create a chef-quality meal at home. Similarly, a gift certificate for local cooking classes can help them create the foundation they need to cook and entertain at home.
They're still at the stage where they can bribe buddies with the promise of pizza and beer, but make their move to their first apartment easier by hiring movers on their behalf. It will make the move much easier and less stressful, allowing them to focus on the fun side of creating their new, grown-up home.
What was the best gift you received when you graduated? Share your ideas in the comments!
Michelle Kruse has helped countless job-seekers find success as the Editor and Content Manager at ResumeEdge. With more than 10 years of experience recruiting for companies like Novartis and IBM, she has firsthand experience of what recruiters are looking for, and she shares that insight with those who need it most.
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