It’s that time of year again, exam results are released and the graduates finally have their results. The majority will be really happy and start looking around at possible jobs, Inworst graduation giftsternships or work placements. Some will consider emigrating and taking their chances in Australia or New York. You want to give them a gift to mark their achievement but you are not sure where to start. Searching online gives you a list from a  Graduation Teddy Bear , a set of cuff links or pens. These traditional gifts seemed old fashioned and do not always convey your congratulations and love.

The most popular gift for new graduates is still cold hard cash. They say it is what they prefer and let’s face it, they are often really appreciative  of the extra €50.00. This has the advantage of allowing them to get exactly what they need or want. However, if you are looking for something other than money then I hope you find these suggestions useful.

  Here are my four alternatives to the Teddy Bear


1. Professional membership

Bad graduation gifts

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Whether your  new graduate is a newly qualified engineer or just starting a career in Marketing  membership of the relevant professional body can be valuable.  These bodies offer access to information, professional development and most importantly  networking events. They often have internal job boards and links to new projects. This membership also looks good on their CVs or LinkedIn profiles.

2. Session with career coach

While many colleges offer career advice, many students do not take advantage of it. They are too focused on final exams or projects. If the budget allows, most graduates would appreciate a session (or two) with a with a professional career coach, to help highlight their skills and expertise. This will help them to stand out from the competition. It can also help to prepare for interviews.

3. Gift voucher for Hairdresser

This type of voucher can be seen as a bit of a luxury or the life saver if they are called for interview. Many graduates have not been overly concerned with their professional appearance. This  can help them to transition into their new career.

4. Set up meetings with people who can help them

The reality is that we live in a “It’s a who you know “world. If your are friendly with a person in business, that would be willing to give an hour or two of their time to meet with your graduate, that can be worth its weight in gold. Be clear, you are not setting up a job interview. You simply have access to someone who could provide some key advice or insights which would really help your graduate.  Your graduation gift is the access to this person and the graduate should benefit from this type of professional conversation.   This tip sheet  for LinkedIn might also be a really useful little gift to help them to create their new online profile.