Best Ways To Build Your Portfolio As A Video Editor

Updated on October 1, 2021

So you want to build a portfolio, but don't know where to start? Well, I'm here to help. I've had my fair share of bad portfolios and good portfolios, and now I am with some experience under my belt. There are a lot of ways to go about building your portfolio, but I want to make sure you get started in the right direction. So today I'm giving you the best practices for building your video editor portfolio.

    1. Always show your best work first

This is the most important part of building a portfolio and can make or break whether an employer/client hires you or not, so always remember to show your best stuff. I know it's easy to get carried away and want to show all of your work in hopes that they will see your true talent. But when you are getting started in the video editing world, your best stuff is all you should offer to potential employers. When in doubt, keep in mind the phrase "less is more."

    2. Show your other skills

Your portfolio doesn't need to be limited to strictly video editing - while I believe that a good portion of your portfolio should be made of videos and edited work, you can also add motion graphics and other pieces as well. Graphics, motion graphics, and still images, if they are well incorporated into your portfolio, can also help you stay versatile in the industry. When I was a student, sometimes I took screenshots from the videos I did for class to add to my portfolio so it showed that I took editing seriously.

    3. Build a social network

Make sure your work is seen by the right people - the best way to do this is through a strong social media presence. I am not saying you have to be active on all forms of social media, but at least have a profile set up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so employers can find you.

    4. Show only finalized works

Don't just use your work as a sample - if you are looking for a video editing job, then you need to look like a video editor. I think it is common for people to use cut from their videos as samples and nothing else, but you want your potential employer to see that you know what you are doing, and the best way to do this is by showing them how well put together your portfolio is.

    5. Know the purpose of your portfolio

This is a no-brainer, but you need to know why you are putting a portfolio together. Is it for school? And internship? Or even just for fun? Whatever your reason may be, always ask yourself what you want to get out of your portfolio before deciding what is best to include in it.

    6. Update your portfolio

One of the reasons showing your best work first is so important, is because you need to make sure that it is updated monthly or even weekly with new things. You never know when someone might come across your portfolio, and they might want to see more up-to-date work. Also, if an employer comes across your portfolio and you don't have anything recent in it, they might think that you aren't active enough to add something new on a regular basis - which is one of the worst things an employer can think about you.

    7. Layout and design counts

This is the thing that I personally don't see a lot when scrolling through video editing portfolios, but it can really make your portfolio stand out if done correctly. I see a lot of portfolios where the videos are all over the place, making it hard to find what you are looking for. What you want to do is think about how people will be viewing your page. If you include screenshots from videos in it, make sure they look nice and are easy to understand what is going on in them. The same goes for titles and graphics. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate your page and understand what you are all about.

    8. Have a résumé

Even if it is just something simple, always put together a résumé for potential employers. It doesn't matter how awesome your portfolio is or how great your work looks on it, a potential employer will never know this if they can't understand what you have done. It shows that you are serious about getting the job and can help when an employer is looking over your portfolio.

    9. Stand out from other candidates

How do you stand out from other candidates? Make your portfolio look different. There are a ton of video editing portfolios out there that all look the same, and if yours looks like them then it might not get looked at by employers. Make your portfolio look different and catch someone's eye, so they might take a minute to look at it.

    10. Have fun with it

This is something I did when I was in my university for a video editing class, and I think it definitely helped me get more views than others did of their work. What you want to do is have some sort of a theme that ties your work together, whether that is a color scheme or just one common factor. When someone comes across your portfolio and sees this theme, they might spend more time viewing it because they can tell what your style is like and it interests them.

Where to get free footage to practice editing?

One of the most helpful tips I can give you is to look for free footage online that people have put together, instead of using your filmed, but not that professional-looking footage. Right footage selection means much more than transitions, effects, and other editing skills. There are tons of places to find footage, like Pexels, Pixabay and etc. So all you need to do is just find and download the right footage (just make sure it is copyright-free). This doesn't even need to be video footage; it could be images or audio files - anything that will help you practice, learn and combine the footage into one beautiful video.

I know that this is a lot to take in when you are just starting out with your portfolio, but these things will help you improve the quality of your work and eventually get to where you need to be. It isn't always easy for anyone to build a video editing portfolio, so don't get discouraged if it isn't perfect right away. Just take it one step at a time and as long as you are practicing, learning, and putting yourself out there then you will succeed in the end.

Final thoughts

Your portfolio is something that defines who you are as an editor. When people go to see what you have done, they want to know what you bring to a project and if you are a good fit for it.  Your portfolio can help or hurt your chances of getting a job in the industry, so make sure that you put as much effort into it as possible.When I was starting out my career as a video editor, I didn't put enough effort into my portfolio so it was very weak. And even though I had some experience, theoretical knowledge in video, as well as some clients, over time I built a strong portfolio. It helped a lot. The most important thing I can say about building a portfolio is to never give up on it, always be learning and putting in the hours of practice needed to become successful at editing videos.

If you enjoyed this article or if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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