Consumer IQ

Great Gifts for Grads

graduation caps

It’s that time of year again: the time when your favorite college student walks down the aisle in a black cap and gown to collect her degree. That means it’s also time for you to try and think of a gift a little more original than your standard fountain pen. If you’ve put off buying something for the favorite soon-to-be graduate in your life, fear not. We’ve got you covered with this list of things that your grad will want and use.

A Tailored Suit

Most college students get through their four-year education with an off-the-rack number. While this might be suitable for phoning in an appearance at a distant realtive’s wedding, it’s not going to cut the mustard during interviews. Bring your favorite grad to the tailor for a suit and a decent pair of shoes. You might also want to think about getting him a haircut while you’re at it. Refining his post-college look can help him land a job, which will get him paying off his student loans quicker and might just keep him from returning to the nest.

Office Chairs

Offices provide their own chairs, but they aren’t necessarily the most comfortable or stylish options. Most workplaces don’t care if employees bring chairs of their own. Giving your favorite grad something to sit on during the 40-plus hours they’ll be spending at their job will help them to be comfortable in the place they’ll soon be spending a lot of time. It also shows their coworkers that they have a bit of taste, style and refinement.

Resume Service Gift Certificates

Getting a job is harder than ever for new grads, but a classy, well-crafted resume will help them cut right to the front of the line. A number of companies specialize in resume consulting. They’ll help your favorite grad do everything from find relevant experience, phrase job duties using the appropriate keywords and even pick out the best fonts and paper that will catch an employer’s eye. You can also consider including fresh batch of business cards, which helps any recent grad make a strong first impression as they head out for interviews.

A Nice Bag

A pretty clear indicator that a person is just entering the professional workforce is if they’re still using a backpack. Now that college is over, it’s time for the grad to ditch the knapsack and get something a little more mature — and stylish. A quality leather messenger bag, briefcase, portfolio or computer bag will help him look a little more grownup and will go along nicely with his (hopefully new) interview suit.

A New Computer

While the computer most grads have now got them through college, technology updates so quickly that it’s likely out of date. This might not be something that your favorite new grad “needs,” but it’s something useful that they probably want. Particularly for parents, this can be a great way to send your kids off into the working world. This is especially true if the grad needs a computer for work — getting them something top of the line to use in their new career makes a great first impression with coworkers.

IKEA Gift Certificate

Once the grad lands a job and finally gets their own place, they’re going to need to decorate. The problem? Dorm furniture is okay when you’re in college, but it’s not exactly the finest interior design choice. Help your new grad to feel adult at their new place with a gift certificate to IKEA. For a modest amount of money, they can furnish their new place without cinderblocks or giant wire spools.

Nicholas Pell is a freelance writer based in Hollywood, CA. He graduated college at the age of 26 and no one got him anything.