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Best gifts for jobseekers

By Kaitlin Madden, CareerBuilder.com
Get a jobseeker the job search extras he might not buy for himself; a leather portfolio or business cards, for example.
Get a jobseeker the job search extras he might not buy for himself; a leather portfolio or business cards, for example.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Get a jobseeker a new interview outfit or a gift certificate to a department store
  • A career coach or résumé writing service can help answer common career questions
  • A gift certificate for a manicure or massage will give your jobseeker confidence
RELATED TOPICS

(CareerBuilder.com) -- Chances are you probably know quite a few people who are smack in the middle of a job search, and if any of them are on your holiday gift list this year, you may want to pay a little extra attention to what you stuff their stockings with.

Today's job search is pretty stressful and the right gift can go a long way in restoring a jobseeker's positivity, giving them much-needed peace of mind or even improving their chances of landing their dream job. So before you wrap up another pair of socks or popcorn tin, check out the gifts below for something your favorite job hunter will really appreciate.

1. Interview outfit: Most people only have one or two outfits in their closet that they consider interview-worthy, and even the snazziest pantsuit can get boring or drab if it's worn to half-a-dozen job interviews. If a friend or family member has been pounding the pavement, give him or her the confidence boost that the right outfit can bestow.

A new interview outfit will be especially appreciated by those who haven't conducted a job search in a while, since their clothing options may be outdated. Don't feel comfortable picking out an outfit? A gift card to a department store is another good option.

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2. Résumé writing service: Writing a killer résumé is the first step to a rewarding job search, but successfully taking that step is easier said than done. Many people struggle with questions like: "How long should my résumé be?" "Should I list my employment history chronologically or functionally?" and "If I wasn't in a sales role, how do I quantify my achievements at my last job?"

A professional résumé writer can answer all of these questions, and make sure that the document is formatted properly and grammatically sound to boot. For professional résumé writing, check out CBRésumé or the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches.

3. Massage: Massage is almost unbeatable when it comes to stress-relief. Studies have shown that benefits of massage can include decreased anxiety, higher energy levels and better sleep quality, all of which will be greatly appreciated by anyone in the middle of a job search. Visit the website for the American Massage Therapy Association to find a practitioner near you.

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4. Career coach: If you're going all out for the jobseeker on your list this year, it doesn't get much better than a personal career coach. Career coaches are a one-stop shop for everything from interview preparation, to cover letter and résumé writing, to helping jobseekers choose the career path that best-matches their skills and interests.

Career coaches also serve as a source of motivation and support throughout the job hunt. An Internet search for career coaches in your area should turn up options in a variety of price points and specialties.

5. Salon gift certificates: The gift of pampering is both fun and practical. Guys can get a new 'do for the new year, and ladies can put their best hands forward with a pre-interview manicure.

6. Interview "extras": If the jobseeker on your list is currently unemployed, give him the job search extras he probably won't splurge on for himself. A leather portfolio, a nice pen or a personalized set of business cards all make great gifts.

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7. Coffee shop gift card: Job searching from home day in and day out -- especially in the winter -- can cause a case of cabin-fever in even the most enthusiastic homebodies. Find a local coffee house (preferably one with free Wi-Fi) and get a gift certificate that will cover a few lattes. It's an inexpensive gift, but the change of scenery included will be priceless.

© CareerBuilder.com 2011. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority.

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