Is someone on your holiday gift list looking for a job? Whether your friend or family member is a new college graduate, an unhappy careerist who covets a new job or an unemployed baby boomer, there are many great gifts that will be perfect for someone who is wishing for a new position in the new year. What are the best gifts for job seekers?
Start with these ideas and share your own in the comments.
A gift certificate for a job search coach and/or a rÃ©sumÃ© makeover.Â Many people remain unemployed or have a tough time finding something new because they donâ€™t understand how to create appropriate job search materials. Looking for a job is a skill most people donâ€™t use very often, so the majority of the population isnâ€™t particularly good at it. Coaches who stay in the know about the job market understand how to create marketing materials that appeal to employers. If you know someone who has been looking for a long time, itâ€™s very likely he or she has aÂ poor rÃ©sumÃ©Â or isnâ€™t focusing on the correct path to a new job. A coach can help.
Tools of the trade.Â Does your job seeker have the technology needed to land a job faster? A computer loaded with software needed to create rÃ©sumÃ©s to send to employers is a key tool. A smartphone or tablet can also be helpful.
Bag or portfolio.Â Itâ€™s always nice to have a well-appointed bag to carry a computer and other materials needed when youâ€™re out for a day of networking or interviewing. Something professional can help provide an extra boost of confidence. Look for special touches, such as pockets for key items like business cards so they don’t get lost at the bottom of the bag. A nice portfolio to carry to meetings can also be a great gift.
Watch.Â Even though itâ€™s easy to see the time on a smartphone, a fashionable watch can be a great accessory and useful for the job seeker. Letâ€™s face it â€“ itâ€™sÂ awkward to pick up your phoneÂ in the middle of an informational interview to check the time; a quick, surreptitious glance at a watch is not obtrusive or distracting.
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Coffee shop gift cards.Â Itâ€™s nice to get out of the house, and coffee shops are locales of choice for many job seekers who want to be out and about while checking online for the latest opportunities. A gift card to cover at least a few lattes is likely to be welcomed.
A new look.Â Clothing or a visit to a salon for a makeover can be helpful for theÂ cash-strapped job seeker, or for someone who hasnâ€™t had a haircut in two years. We donâ€™t like to admit that people judge us based on how we look, but thereâ€™s no question an updated look, including stylish clothing, polished shoes and a modern haircut can help the skilled job seeker get to the next step.
New skills.Â Most people can benefit from a class that helps them learn new skills. Whether you gift a job-related course or select a fun opportunity to explore or continue a hobby â€“ either an online class or an in-person learning opportunity that may double as a chance to network â€“Â a gift of new skillsÂ is a great choice for job seekers.
A night out.Â If your gift is for someone who has been out of work or saving money for some time, an enjoyable evening out is especially welcome. A gift card for a favorite restaurant, movie passes, concert tickets or something along those lines can be a great gift.