Why transferable skills will be your key to finding work in 2021

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed some people’s ways of working forever.

The impact has been much more apparent in some industries than others. Whilst certain sectors, such as logistics, have been booming, the same cannot be said for the likes of high street retailers and hospitality businesses. 

Employees in these sectors, as well jobseekers with a career’s worth of experience in the most impacted fields, are now looking at how they can adapt. Which is why, for many, 2021 will be the perfect time to think about changing careers


More than a third of people are currently looking for work

Over a third (36%) of UK adults are looking for a job right now, according to our recent survey results*. However, motivations for doing so differ greatly from person to person.

40% said they are doing so in order to earn a higher salary, 34% say they simply want to see what else is out there and almost a third (31%) are looking for a new role as they’re worried about job security in their current job.

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Tech and creative jobseekers most active in job market

Those working in technology (62%) and those in creative roles (62%) are the most likely to be looking for a job right now. Closely followed by workers in construction (57%) and manufacturing (54%).

For some, the reasoning behind seeking out a new role could be down to how they feel about their current positions. Almost four in 10 (37%) of those in creative jobs, for example, indicated that they feel as if they’re at a career crossroads – more than double the national average of 15%. 

Although it isn’t clear whether these particular individuals are also looking to move to a new industry, it’s certainly a trend that appears to be growing. Particularly for those struggling to find work and professional fulfilment in their current roles.


Where do transferable skills come in? 

7 out of 10 of those we surveyed recently said they’d be willing to move industries to help improve their job prospects. Which indicates that more people than ever would consider stepping outside their comfort zones to find a job they love. 

If you feel as if you’re at a crossroads in your career, now could be the perfect time to leverage your skills and change your career path. Whether it’s a full-time switch, or just something to tide you over until employment prospects in your sector start to return, it all comes down to making the most of your transferable skills.

82% of jobseekers hopeful they’ll land their dream job in 2021


Examples of jobs where transferable skills could be useful

Of course, certain transferable skills lend themselves to particular industries better than others.

Here are some examples of jobs where transferable skills could be incredibly valuable and an idea of some skills that could help you get ahead:

Examples of jobs with transferable skills

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But thinking about your skills in a holistic way could pay huge dividends when it comes to your future career prospects.

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How to build on your transferable skills

Transferable skills are very much the base layer of a jobseeker’s overall potential; investing in continuous learning will strengthen anyone’s employment prospects. And it’s clear that jobseekers are doing this. Two thirds completed online courses in 2020, with the vast majority indicating that they did this to help them find work.  

Online learning is undoubtedly a great way to build on your transferable skills – whether it’s studying for a professional qualification in a different industry, or just taking a CPD course to help back up your skills and add value to your CV. Most courses are available to take online, with many available on flexible payment plans too. There are even some free online courses to help you get started.

If you’re considering taking a course online but aren’t sure what subject is right for you, read our quick guide on 20 courses that could help you change careers.

View all available courses now


How to use your transferable skills to change careers

Once you’ve figured out your own set of transferable skills, you need to put them to work; which means knowing how to get them across effectively on your CV. 

Luckily, we have a wide range of resources to help you make the most of your own skillset – including our skills-based CV template, our career change CV template, and our career change cover letter template

The main thing to remember about communicating your transferable skills? Always back them up. No matter what they are, and what industry you’re looking to pursue, employers will always respond more positively to statements you can quantify with tangible examples. 

The STAR technique is the perfect jumping off point here, not to mention using the job description to help point you in the right direction. 

Use both techniques effectively and transferable skills really could be the way to land yourself a new career. For 2021, and beyond.

What are transferable skills?



Ready to put your transferable skills to work? View all available jobs now. 


*Data taken from an online survey of 2,001 adults aged 18-64 in the UK who are either employed (full- or part-time), furloughed or unemployed. Survey conducted in January 2021 by Atomik Research on behalf of


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