5 Graduation Gifts Your Graduate Will Actually Use

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5 gifts for recent grad

Equip Your Graduate for the Journey Ahead of Them

5 Graduation Gift Ideas

Your new graduate already has a lot of the things they needed to get them through college in the first place. Some, if not all, of this stuff, may require replacing or upgrading. The right graduation gift can set them on a path to success and happiness.

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It’s Time to Lay That Old Computer to Rest

A New Laptop or Computer

A new computer might be the most obvious, and costly gift idea, though that doesn’t lessen its importance. That computer you got bought your graduate at the start of their education is now anywhere from 4 to 8 years old. It’s probably on its last legs, taking forever to turn on, and freezing up every few minutes.

The gift of a new, up-to-date PC or Mac is the ultimate way to equip your new grad for the world they face as they search for jobs and enter the workforce. Make sure that the old computer is either sold or, even better, dropped off at a charity organization.

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Many charities out there will reformat old computers and send them to less fortunate countries to help educate underprivileged youth. That way, you give your student a gift, and you give a child in need, a gift too. That’s the biggest win-win. For tips on donating a computer, check out this article. For advice on who to give the computer too, see this article.

But beyond this big-ticket item, there are many other things your child, grandchild, or other loved one will need once the elation of the diploma ceremony has faded and things like internships, residencies, and the grind of the nine-to-five begin.

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Your Time: The Most Valuable Graduation Gift

Share What You Know

Sure, you could get your new graduate a book the Oprah Book Club swears will transform their lives or a fancy leather bound organizer they’ll likely never use. However, there are many things graduates need to know to make it our there.

Do you know how to:

  • Get a Head-hunters attention?
  • Navigate the job market?
  • Create a knockout résumé?
  • Draft an attention-grabbing cover letter?
  • Dress for an interview?
  • Give a proper handshake?

One of the most precious gifts you can give your grad is access to your knowledge and your time. We don’t mean to imply you do everything for your recent graduate. But we do suggest you show them where they can go to obtain that information. You can give them access to your connections, open up your Rolodex, and start networking alongside them. The most efficient use of your time will be to help create a standout LinkedIn profile. If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, enlist the help of a relative or friend who knows how to navigate this important social platform for finding jobs.

Impart your knowledge of how to dress for interviews and how to comport oneself during phone conferences for pre-interview screening. There’s nothing like the sage wisdom of someone who has been there and done that.

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Help Your Grad Get and Stay Connected

The Newest Tech

Much like the computer we mentioned earlier, your recent graduates is probably using the same phone and tablet they had when they started school. Get them an updated smartphone or tablet that can handle the newest apps, programs, and updates.

With a new smart mobile device, your graduate can stay on top of emails, take Skype calls for interviews, and use job-finding apps. According to Salary.com, mobile apps for job seekers are an excellent avenue for the job hunt. Mobile applications allow people to search for any job from anywhere, day or night, at their discretion.

Salary.com recommends a few top picks for job apps, which include:

  • Hidden Jobs: A $0.99 app that allows users to find the great jobs available that are not visible on LinkedIn, Craigslist, in the newspaper, or anywhere else. Hidden Jobs boasts access to roughly two million positions they find by scouring all manner of online media, including press releases, magazines, social platforms and more. Something that would take your grad hours to discover on their own.
  • iPQ Career Planner: A free questionnaire app that helps job seekers find strengths and weaknesses and offers suggestions for improvement.
  • BeKnown: A free app that works with Facebook to create a professional profile. The app helps users steer clear of mixing business and pleasure associated with existing Facebook profiles they use for personal purposes. This useful tool detangles the personal from the professional. Their BeKnown profile can be used to post data about the user’s education, résumé, experience, and other career-related information. This way, job seekers can be sought out by employers directly. BeKnown also allows users to recommend one another, recommend companies, and enjoy better search engine visibility with BeKnown-specific profiles.
  • LunchMeet: A free app that works through LinkedIn and allows networking by locating entrepreneurs, consultants, headhunters, and others in their area. It then allows the two parties to agree on an available time and place to physically meet up.

Check out this article by Forbes to see a larger list of useful apps for recent grads.

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Prepare Your Grad for Life Outside the Dorm Room

Practical Graduation Gifts

Graduates transitioning from a dorm to an apartment, find themselves without all sorts of standard equipment. A desk is a simple and functional gift for a recent graduate. More than likely, the desk they had at school was into their dorm or part of a library.

More important items like washers, dryers, vacuums, collections of cleaning solutions, hangers, bed sheets, heck, even a bed! The list of things they will need goes on and on.

Make a List of Necessary Household Items and Furnishings

To get your grad started, make a list of what they don’t have. Come together as a family to bolster the new grad’s efforts to reenter life as a working professional.

Pitch in anything:

  • Bookcases
  • Umbrellas
  • Trashcans
  • Luggage
  • Tool kits
  • First aid kits
  • Dishes, glasses, and flatware
  • Vacuums
  • Microwaves
  • Other Appliances
  • Even home furnishings

Most everyone has extra items sitting around in basements, garages, and attics they should be happy to offload. All these things will help furnish an apartment! You don’t want your recent grad sleeping on the floor while eating and drinking out of the containers their food came in.

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Show Your Grad You Know What They Like

Something Special

After receiving their fair share of dishes and trash cans, new grads may experience a sense of starkness. There aren’t a lot of frills in their new post-university digs, especially when comprised of extended family hand-me-downs.

Here are a few ideas for items that add some panache to an otherwise bland existence:

  • A new wallet or purse that will pair well with more professional ensembles for interviews and at the new office
  • A new watch to enhance a look of professionalism
  • A few new ties or blouses to face interviewers or the new boss
  • A Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu subscription for off-time entertainment (since they likely can’t afford cable yet)
  • A few prepaid cards to places like Target, Starbucks, and Amazon to help during the first few months of life on their own

Alas, this is a new era for your new graduate, so keep a close eye on them! Ensure they’re taking advantage of all the tools they have at their fingertips. Be there for them through all the interviews and second interviews, and when they finally land that first job.

In the meantime, offer whatever you reasonably can to help them stay afloat as they make their way in the real world.

graduation gift ideas for young adults
graduation gift ideas for children

Additional Gift Ideas

For additional graduation gift ideas check out our other articles above. One is for preschool and kindergarten graduates. The other is for high school and college grads. We hope you find a gift idea you like!

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