It’s graduation season for high schools, secondary schools and universities around the world. If you’re pondering gift ideas for the graduates in your life and want to give something more unique than cash, we’d suggest that a domain name and website is a highly useful gift for new graduates. Here are three big reasons why:

Help Them Get a Job

The economy is still in rough shape, and while employment prospects for new graduates are improving a bit, it’s still no easy feat for a new graduate to land a job quickly. With a Google search taking just seconds, nearly all HR departments do a quick review of search results for job candidates to get more context on who they are. It’s absolutely critical that candidates rank well in Google for their name, and the content that displays for their name needs to give people reviewing the candidates confidence that they would be a good employee (Hint to job hunters: make your college party photos on Facebook private!).

A personalized domain name and website is one of the best ways to rank well in Google, and this will allow the new graduate to control the content that displays in search results. A personalized domain name such as “amyhoffman.com” or “brianrichards.me” will immediately convey professionalism to potential employers, and when a job hunter lists a website on their resume, it provides a clear way to learn more about an applicant than the resume alone can. A personal website doesn’t have to be complex; it can be a basic informational page or a resume. Websites allow job candidates to be much more creative and engaging than a standard resume format, because they allow for things like videos, photos, and portfolios that a piece of paper or an email attachment can’t convey! On the topic of email attachments, adding email to a personalized domain name will make an applicant seem even more professional when their resume comes from “paul@paulcameron.com”.

No Job? Help Them Make Their Own Job!

While every graduate is hopeful that they’ll find the perfect job straight out of school, the reality is that many of them will spend a long time job hunting before finding employment. Others will find jobs, but will quickly realize it’s not the perfect fit for their skills and interests. New graduates tend to have an entrepreneurial spirit and boundless optimism, and a website is a perfect way to let them explore their passions. An aspiring photographer can showcase their work with a web gallery, while a graduate with an electrical engineering degree can start a blog about their experiments with solar energy.

These sorts of side-projects often spur the ideas that turn into successful new small businesses, both online and brick-and-mortar. Plus, for those job hunting, sending out application after application is exhausting. Having side projects focused on passions and skills, and displaying those  projects online, keeps morale high for job hunters. Plus it gives potential employers a sense of the applicant’s skills and abilities,  and, more importantly, their passion for various subjects.

Important Life Skills

Employers look for candidates who are constantly seeking to improve themselves. In today’s job market, being tech-savvy and web-literate is one of the best ways for a new graduate to set themselves apart. A basic understanding of HTML, web design, and how to create a web page can go an extremely long way towards finding a job. This applies to a huge number of graduates with degrees such as business, journalism, sciences, design, engineering, education, and more! By giving a domain name and web hosting to a recent graduate, you’re setting them up with the tools necessary to learn how to build a website.

Where to Start?

Do you want to help a graduate get set up with a website? If so, great! Domain.com offers everything needed to get started. The two basic things each website needs are a domain name and web hosting.

At the base level, all websites need a domain name. This is a great starting point if you’re looking for a small gift.

Website Hosting Options:

If you think a basic one-page website that can be created in minutes for someone with no website-building  experience sounds about right, give our Instant Website product a try.

If you want to give a graduate the ability to build their own website from scratch or with numerous website-building tools like SiteBuilder or WordPress, one of our Web Hosting plans will be a great option. These plans all allow for maximum customization of websites, but also include an application vault with plenty of options to help build and manage a website. All of our Web Hosting plans also include custom email!

Congratulations to the class of 2011! And remember, your next great idea starts with a great domain name.

Questions about buying a domain name and web hosting for a graduate in your life? Ask us in the comments: