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The Ideal Profile of a Video Editor

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Image Credit: Matthew Kwong

With the rise in streaming services comes a rise in the need for content. What you should know about entertainment jobs in 2021 is that the sector as a whole has experienced tremendous growth. For the right candidate, with passion and ability, there are a host of attractive job opportunities on the labor market. And since many video editing assignments are done remotely, in today’s gig economy video editing can be a great work from home job for pregnant women.

In this short article, we’ll take a look at the skills and attributes recruiters are looking for when hiring or contracting a video editor.

Technical Know-How

Generally, when a video editor is hired for a punctual project, what matters most is the delivery of the final product and not what tools were used to achieve the result. However, for more long-term projects (and even for many punctual ones) the client can want to contribute or monitor the editing process. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the type of software used to be specified in the job offer.

Of the most common names of video editing software listed in recent job offers, 2 are mentioned far more than others (overwhelmingly so).  It is advised to have experience in at least one of the following:

  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Adobe Premium Pro

Additionally, proficiency in image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop is often asked for.

Soft Skills

Often called ‘transferable skills’, soft skills are any set of aptitudes or abilities that relate to how a person works.

  • Do you work well with others?
  • Are you good at accepting and incorporating feedback?
  • Are you self-motivated, able to stay focused, and driven without the need for continual attention?
  • So you work well under pressure (especially in regard to tight deadlines)?
  • Are you organized (especially in regard to labeling and cataloging)?
  • Able you able to work on various projects simultaneously (which implies the ability to prioritize)?

Even though many video editing jobs are carried out remotely, recruiters still place a high priority on teamwork and a collaborative spirit when assessing candidates for the role. The ideal candidate should have demonstrated (in their prior work experience or other) an aptitude for working well with others, which consists of:

  • Listening
  • Empathizing
  • Being open to receiving feedback and criticism
  • Being a positive influence on the morale of the team

Following the Lead

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Image Credit: Riccardo Annandale

The video editor almost never takes the lead on a project. More often than not, they are asked to understand then realize someone else’s vision. Therefore, the ideal candidate for a video editing position should have demonstrated the ability to adapt to a plan, vision, or strategy that was designed by someone else.

The ideal video editor is good at taking direction (often vague or unclear direction) and finds satisfaction in a job well done (rather than finding satisfaction in the praise or credit for completing the job).

Taking Initiative

While some job offers do state they are looking for a candidate who shows initiative, in most instances, what they mean by that is – someone who will get to work without being invited twice; someone who will look for solutions to problems on their own rather than ask a superior for solutions. Initiative, when it comes to video editing, should not be interpreted as ‘taking the lead on a project’. That is rarely the role of a video editor.


A successful video editor is detail-oriented with strong visual, audio, and narrative sensibilities.

A successful video editor knows how to prioritize. He or she will also know how to weigh quality versus the practical impositions of the resources available to them and the deadline they are expected to meet. A video editor rarely has all the time they need to make the best edit possible. Instead, he or she needs to know when to be a detail-oriented perfectionist and when to emphasize the completion of a project over the desire to make it even better.


Of all the descriptives used in job offers for a video editor, the one that comes up most frequently is “storyteller”. 

Often, the job offer will call for candidates with a background in journalism or the visual arts. But even in those instances, the employer or contractor wants someone who identifies as a storyteller.

Storytelling skills can be demonstrated in a variety of positions through a variety of tasks:

  • A teacher – they are constantly transforming information into a story in order to help the learner assimilate and remember the information
  • A trainer, coach, or consultant – similar to a teacher, a trainer uses stories to transmit information and/or help others connect with the message on an emotional level
  • A writer – whether it’s copywriter, SEO writing, or as a knowledge manager, a writer needs to present information in a succinct and appealing fashion – much like what a video editor is tasked to do

The Bottom Line

The field of video editing is rapidly expanding, and the number of positions and job offers for a video editor is growing as well.

Overwhelmingly, recruiters are looking for video editors with some experience, either using Adobe Premium Pro, Final Cut Pro X, or both. The ideal candidate should be well organized, detail-oriented, and should identify as a storyteller.


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