1. Cell phone – if the grad already has one, cover their monthly bill (for as long as you see fit). Use BillShrink.com to compare plans.
2. Cash – whatever you can give, they will be happy to receive.
3. Coaching – give a set amount of hours to coach the grad on resume writing, interviewing, office politics and whatever help they need to land their first job and excel at work.
4. Networking – offer to take the grad to coffee/lunch to discuss what field s/he is interested in getting. Promise to pass on their info to 2-3 of your contacts to help them get a job lead.
5. A gift card – help them cover the basics with a gift card for groceries or gasoline. If they need business attire, give a gift certificate to Banana Republic, J.Crew, or Macy’s.
6. Kitchenware – if the graduate is not moving back home (so many are, see below), they will need kitchen supplies and tools to prepare meals. Consider buying them a small appliance, pot, knife set, or basic utensils.
Thanks, Arian and Sarah!