If you have ever looked for a job, or to level-up in your career, you know that the process can be an all-consuming task. While you might think there’s nothing you can do this holiday season to help a friend or family member, short of an introduction, think again. Thoughtful gift giving can make a big impact.
Here are 31 winning holiday gift giving ideas for the job-seeker in your life. If it were you, which one would you want?
Know someone who has “tried it all?” Sometimes an external perspective can make all the difference. Services like these can be literally life-changing.
Resume writing service
Hard time landing interviews? Getting a professional resume / cv writing service could help them stand out in a competitive job market.
Interview coaching sessions
Getting the interview but not the offer? Having personal coaching sessions to improve their interviewing skills can make a massive difference in confidence and awareness.
Not clear on what they want? Some sessions with a career coach can help them explore what they want, their options, and strategize their job search.
Need specific industry advice? Sponsor them in a mentoring program where they can gain insights and support from successful executives in their field.
Personal branding consultation
Gap between online and career personas? Online presence is critical for job seekers. Consider giving them a service that can design professional branding.
Professional social media upgrade
Weak online presence? Having a strong online profile can get recruiters to take notice. Give a service that optimizes LinkedIn profiles or other professional social media.
DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION
Sometimes we want to pivot in our careers and need to upskill for the next role. This list is great for the person who is inspired by continuous development and learning.
Online learning subscriptions
Give access to online course platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Udemy, edX, or Skillshare that offer a wide range of courses for professional development.
Language learning tools
Subscriptions to apps like Duolingo Plus, Rosetta Stone, or Babbel for job-seekers looking to improve their language skills.
Books, E-books, audiobooks
Consider sharing your favorite career development books, or books on interview techniques, personal branding, professional development, or leadership.
A membership to an industry organization with articles and online resources, like recruiting boards, can make a job change a lot easier.
The 2024 job-search requires different tools than what we needed in 2019. Consider some of these tech gift giving ideas to boost their confidence while making the process easier, safer, and smarter.
What would it be like to own your own name online? Consider giving a personalized domain name where they can feature their cv / resume or portfolio and really stand out from the crowd!
Job-seekers definitely don’t want to miss hearing the offer they are given! Don’t let audio glitches get in the way! Give high quality headphones for virtual interviews.
When we go to an in-person interview, we want to look our best. It’s the same for online interviews. Give a new webcam for crystal clear video calls.
When job searching we often have to login to unsecured wifi. Give a reliable VPN service to ensure secure and unrestricted internet access, which can be crucial for personal security.
Portable wi-fi hotspot
To ensure your friend has internet access when they are on the move, especially in areas where internet service might be inconsistent, give them a portable wi-fi hotspot.
Ever start an interview with only 20 percent power left on your device? Ah, the stress! Give a high-capacity power bank to charge devices.
A reusable smart notebook can digitize information to keep track of interview conversations, networking next steps, job search follow-ups, thank you notes, and more.
Why give them one book when you could give 100? Consider giving an e-reader loaded with professional development books; call out your top 3 favorites.
Resilience and flexibility are needed in today’s job search environment. The process can take a toll, mentally and physically. Gift giving in the form of stress relief can go a long way in helping the person stay on track to hit their goals.
Spa gift certificates
After a big panel interview, we need to relax! Give the gift of a massage to help the person reduce stress, regain energy for their next steps.
Meditation, mindfulness app
Mindfulness has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be present in preparing for job interviews. They can also help with dealing with job-related stress and improve focus and concentration.
A fitness tracker
To encourage maintaining good health and energy levels during a job search, give a fitness tracker. Some trackers can monitor sleep and heart rate in addition to steps or calories. Keeping up physical health can make a search less tiring.
Did you know that up to 80 percent of jobs are never advertised? For most professionals, new roles are found through networking. Make it possible for your job-seeker to land their next role as easily as possible by opening up the opportunity for them to meet new people.
Professional organization memberships
Memberships in professional organizations provide networking opportunities with people who are in their industry. They may find professional development opportunities, designations, resources and mentors.
Attendance fees for conferences
Industry conferences are great for meeting like-minded professionals and establishing valuable relationships with influential people. They are great places to learn the latest industry trends, exchange ideas, ask questions, and do informational interviews.
Coffee shop gift cards
Meeting over coffee or tea as we network can help ease nerves and facilitate conversation while creating a powerful shared-experience. Give your job-seeker a coffee shop gift card and encourage them to use it to ask someone to meet up for their advice.
It may have “been a minute” since we last had to wear nice clothes on the bottom half of our bodies since the COVID-19 pandemic had many professionals working from home. Additionally, online video filters can be pretty helpful at minimizing a bad hair day. Consider giving gifts that help the job-seeker look as confident as they feel.
Career wardrobe update
Gift them with a styling session to help them choose the best professional attire that suits their industry and personal brand.
Clothing gift cards
Consider giving them gift cards for stores that specialize in clothes or accessories that are appropriate for interviews and networking events.
Beauty and self-care
Does your friend’s haircut give off more sleepy-head than sales executive vibes? Give gift certificates for barbers, hair styling, or professional makeup services for a confidence boost on interview days.
Quality Travel Bags
A stylish yet functional rollercase or briefcase that can fit a laptop, portfolio, and other essentials will help your job-seeker feel totally put together for interviews or networking events.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE TOOLS
Looking for a job while also managing a home or family can be a lot. Additionally, when we live in cities, physically getting places can take a lot more time than we have. Giving gifts that provide more balance can really boost overall life-satisfaction.
Does your job-seeker have a busy life on top of looking for a new gig? Give subscriptions to meal delivery services, grocery delivery, or home organization services to help them manage their busy schedule.
If your job-seeker is also juggling a family, consider offering a gift certificate for professional childcare services that they can use during interviews or networking events.
Does your job-seeker live in an urban area? Give a gift card for ride-sharing services so they can be sure of getting to interviews without hassle.
These gifts will aid job-seekers in their search process, alleviate stress, and enhance their confidence. As you give a gift like this, don’t forget the part that can make the biggest difference of all: a handwritten note of encouragement.
Kate Wade is the CEO of Get Her Hired, a Forbes.jobs partner company, and a certified Executive Coach and Global Executive Résumé + CV Writer. Kate is on a mission to get 10,000 women into the executive positions in which they belong. Her promise: scroll-stopping résumés and CVs. Having sat at the tables where the C-Level decisions are made, she knows first-hand what it takes to prepare, network, “apply,” interview and attain top levels of leadership in the world’s largest enterprises.
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