10 Gift Ideas for the College Grad

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Posted by The Editors on August 29, 2011
10 Gift Ideas for the College Grad
I’ve been attending graduation parties almost every weekend this month and after sifting through gifts with a few of my fellow grads, we’ve shared, compared and compiled a master list of gifts we think today’s grads would benefit from big time—beer funnels excluded, of course (although that gift went over pretty well).

1. Camera
Many graduates are opting for travel and volunteerism over fulltime employment, so what makes a better travel companion than a camera to capture all their post-grad adventures?

2. E-Reader
Remember my post on commuter essentials? Well, take it from someone who knows: An e-reader is a great gift for the grad who landed a job in the big city but still lives at home. Of course it’s also perfect for any avid reader who embraces technology.

3. Single-Cup Coffee Maker
Although I’m personally not a coffee drinker, my friends all swear by Keurig’s coffee makers for their quick fix. It’s simple to use: just pop in a K-cup, press brew, and you’re good to go! Perfect for those early morning commutes or late nights spent job searching.

4. Apple iPad
It’s lighter than a laptop and less expensive! Can’t go wrong.

5. Smartphone
With instant email access, apps for just about everything, and GPS navigation, this is a smart gift that gives recent grads the ability to stay connected to friends, family, and potential employers. Did I mention GPS? (I’m a big fan!) It’s put to good use when trying to locate hard-to-find interview locations.

6. Expert Resume Review
The standards for resumes are higher than ever. Not only should job seekers have a paper resume but a digital one too, and then there’s the video resume that some say will soon be standard. Give the gift of a resume critique to help your grad start out on the right foot.

7. A Watch
A watch isn’t just a good go-to retirement gift. Keeping track of time is vital when entering the workforce, so a nice watch may actually persuade the entry-level workers in your life to do it.

8. Briefcase or Leather Work Bag
You’re probably thinking, “Briefcase? Boooring.” But consider the crucial point in your graduates’ lives. They’re way past carrying around textbooks and sharpies in backpacks and poorly made totes. Help them achieve a professional look with a sleek laptop or work bag they’ll be proud to carry around, even if all they can fill it with is resumes and business cards.

9. Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Always a safe option, but if you’re too afraid your grad might just spend the money on Heavy Metal music (or whatever kids are listening to these days) you can always head to the WetFeet store and gift them with helpful career guides.

10. Money
Most grads leave college in debt anyway. Why not help them soften the blow with a little cushioning? It doesn’t have to be much, but every bit helps! One suggestion though: give checks. Cash will always be spent faster. Checks are more likely to trigger a trip to the bank, which means there’s a better chance of making it into a savings account.

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