10 Gifts to Give to New College Graduates

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- The Spring 2012 graduation season is upon us and you might be wondering what to get a person who is beginning their lives in the “real world.”

Mainstreet has come up with 10 unique ideas for the graduate in your life:

1. Cash or prepaid card: If the college graduate in your life is like many, they are entering the working world already saddled with a lot of student loan debt. Cash may not be unique, but it is always welcomed, says Andrea Woroch, a money saving expert.  If you want to put a unique spin on it that makes the graduate smile and think of you every time they purchase something, a personalized Visa card is the way to go. Price is amount of the gift +$5.95.

2. Resume service: This might not be as flashy as a car, but the graduate will appreciate having a professional guide them through drawing up the resume as they seek their first job. “Most colleges have career centers with advisors available to assist students with their career search and resume development, but that free service is gone upon graduation,”Woroch says.

3. Job interview clothing: The women graduates in your life might appreciate this more than the men, but the guys will have to look smashing too, for their first job interviews. Depending on your relationship – if it is your son or daughter – you might offer to purchase a couple of suits or clothes that can be interchangeable for multiple interviews. Woroch says “Schedule a suit fitting or organize a shopping spree and help the budding professional select the proper attire.”

4. Financial planning session: How many of us wish we had started paying off debt and saving for retirement right out of college? How many of us knew to even think that way? “One of the best gifts you can offer a recent grad is the opportunity to begin her new life on the right financial foot,” Woroch says. “By purchasing one or more professional financial planning sessions, you're offering the opportunity to learn the most effective approach for establishing a budget, paying off debt and saving for retirement.”