It’s no secret that there are a tonne of video editing skills out there for any aspiring editors to learn and master. To be a genuinely exceptional editor, though, more than just video editing abilities are needed. Did you know that in 2020, the US has a massive 32,940 people working in video editing? This is according to research done by Zippia’s data science team. There is a tonne of rivalry out there.

It’s important to focus on both personal qualities and social abilities in addition to learning technical aspects of video editing if you want to advance in this field. Many beginning video editors are unaware of the fact that being the greatest in the field requires a combination of technical, social, and personal abilities.

In this article, we’ll examine all three skill areas and discuss ways to improve in each one. The road plan for becoming a successful video editor is this combination of professional abilities.

Table of Contents

Personal prowess

I’ll start with personal video editing skills. Employers seek for specific talents that show your general competency, just like they would for any other position in any other industry. Along with having excellent video editing abilities, you should also pay close attention to detail, be a self-starter, be organised, be capable of addressing problems, and have a good recall. All of these will be useful during the video editing process. 

Observation of details

People who pay close attention to detail are highly valued by employers. Dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s (or being neat and making few mistakes) could indicate that you are not a competent editor who can do the work to the required standard.

Video editors must show that they can complete nearly faultless work under time constraints. Directors and producers can’t afford for you to mess up on the audio track while the copyright watermark is still playing over it or miss a questionable transition.The finer points matter.


You need to take significant initiative if you want to succeed in this field. The task won’t just magically appear in your lap without any effort on your part. You must take action to bring about change. Employers can tell that you’re eager, hungry, and passionate about being an editor if you demonstrate that you can work independently.

It may be a sign that you’re not really interested in making it if you’re a little lazy and don’t care too much about making things happen for yourself. If it doesn’t concern you, why should it bother future employers?

Organising abilities

This is applicable to pretty much every job in the world, right? Video editors must be well organised in order to complete the video editing process. The project will fail if you are disorganised because you are working with a tonne of footage and files.

Employers want to know that you can plan well, take good care of their equipment, and collaborate well with a larger team. Who’s to say other editors will know what they’re looking at, even if your folder and file layout seems to make sense to you in some way? It happens frequently for video editors to collaborate on a project or have to delegate work to another division. finding solutions

Isn’t all of filmmaking, when you get right down to it, just problem solving? Finding a method to turn the uncut material you’re provided into a captivating, well-paced narrative that keeps viewers interested is the challenge you face as an editor. 

We are all aware of how unpredictable the filming process can be. Things go wrong all the time, therefore it’s critical to demonstrate that you can rapidly react to these issues and obstacles. 

decent memory

Although we don’t recommend that you become the next Sherlock Holmes, forgetfulness is never attractive. You may prove that you can take in instructions and briefs, absorb the regulations, and integrate into a project easily by showcasing your recall. 

Directors and producers won’t feel comfortable entrusting you with a lot of information and all of their files if you frequently forget stuff. Don’t act in that way.

Social abilities

The truth is that, just like any other job, you need to show that you have decent social skills if you want to get employed to edit films. While outsiders may see video editors as being cut off from the world, alone for hours in front of their large screens (that’s certainly correct occasionally), this isn’t always the case. At the end of the day, teamwork is what makes the filmmaking process successful. The best products are produced here.

A member of the group

Is it a trendy term? Probably. But in almost any career, getting along with others is crucial. Video editors are not exempt from this rule. Being a decent person is the most important factor that can help you advance in your field when you network (more on that below).

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed someone who, although having absurd talent, didn’t get asked back for the following project because they developed a reputation as someone who was obnoxious, haughty, and didn’t get along with the group. People you look to work with again are individuals who are courteous, hospitable, kind, and easy to get along with. Really, it’s quite easy!


You must network if you want to establish a long-lasting career and move up the corporate ladder. The video content industry is primarily about people, so don’t be shy about introducing yourself, saying hello, and showing your face while grinning. There may be more opportunities down the road the more individuals you meet and get to know.

For instance, if you have the time, why not meet with other video editors, directors, and producers for coffee? You don’t need to approach them with any preconceived notions or questions. Just stop by to introduce yourself, chat business, and let them know what you do. In the future, they might call you because they remember you. You can transition from being an assistant editor to editing your first feature film by networking.

Talents in communication

Naturally, you need effective communication abilities to network and perform well in a team. Additionally, there is a lot of back and forth between numerous players during the editing process. You must be able to communicate your ideas and give important information in a clear, understandable way to everyone.

On the other hand, you must also be a good listener. Understand when to keep your voice and let others speak. In the revisions, pay close attention to what your director says and requests. 

Studying the language

Talk the talk and walk the walk are both necessary. Showing that you comprehend terminology relevant to your sector suggests that you’re the real deal. Understanding the terminology (what are rushes? People feel more comfortable around you because they know that you know what you’re doing, have experience doing it, and are a skilled editor who can create interesting videos.

When you get your first job as an editor, you might not accomplish what the director requests if you don’t understand what he means when he talks about eyeline matching and the establishing shot. This can raise concerns about your expertise and capacity as an editor.

Technical expertise

programme for editing videos

There is no getting around this one. Video editing software is the one thing that editors simply cannot live without, like a hammer is to a blacksmith. There are several solutions available, from excellent free programmes like iMovie or Adobe Premiere Rush to more sophisticated, professional-level applications like Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro X. The field of animation and graphic effects is explored by other applications like Adobe After Effects.

You’ll be a desirable candidate for employment across the board if you can demonstrate thorough expertise and mastery of these video editing software solutions. With their combined total of 28.06%, Adobe Products, After Effects Design, and social media currently comprise a further sizable portion of the employer’s job posts for Video Editor.

PC expertise

On your computer or laptop, professional video editing is very demanding. Knowing what makes a good editing device is one of our recommendations for video editing. It’s similar to when a professional racing car driver realises why their car is going so quickly. As a film editor, this includes becoming familiar with GPUs and CPUs, understanding their significance, and understanding what specific hardware you will require based on the video projects you work on.

While this information is helpful in general, it will also make a good impression on your peers and potential employers. It’s a surefire indication that you’re really skilled and knowledgeable. 

Key shortcuts

Throughout your career, the great majority of the videos you edit will certainly have deadlines of some kind. It’s essential to have the capacity to work quickly and effectively (without being careless). By mastering keyboard shortcuts, you can unleash the full potential of your editing programme and significantly cut down on the time it takes to cut sequences. You must be intimately familiar with each one if you want to rank among the greatest video editors in the industry.

Grading of colours

In our films, colour is how we arouse particular emotions and deliver covert messages. Reds, for instance, imply passion, adoration, or danger. Greens can represent calmness, riches, or envy. If it is purple, someone will perish.

It’s crucial that you learn how to colour correct and grade professionally as you hone your abilities in video editing. Learn how to do it, but more importantly, understand why you’re doing it. 

Soundtrack choice

While not precisely a method of video editing like colour grading, finding the correct song is a crucial skill for any skilled editor. Your soundtrack selections can radically alter the tone, ambiance, and meaning of a sequence in your edit since music propels the story forward emotionally. 

For instance, Musicbed was created with the role of the video editor in mind. Songs can be found by mood (cool, cheerful, serious) and genre (ambient, cinematic, independent). Then, to narrow your search even further, you can choose from dozens of characteristics (such as aggressive, French, or spiritual), as well as the ideal BPM, length, build, and instrument. The greatest editors are those who make use of a database as extensive as Musicbed.

Spare, spare, spare

The auto-save feature should be set to run every few minutes because CTRL + S is a lifesaver. Nothing is more frustrating than making significant work on an edit only to have to restart or shutdown due to a problem or issue. Even while it may not occur frequently, if you haven’t recently saved your project, all of your progress may be lost.


Similar to that, you must backup all of your video. The footage you’re creating took a lot of people a long time and effort to shoot. What much of a loss would it be if the video was lost, corrupted, or deleted? 

Video editing 101 advice: Any capable editor should back up the footage first. a number of occasions. You must make sure that the footage is stored somewhere safe in case your first drive location fails and a backup also malfunctions. If you mess up, it might really damage your reputation, and if word gets out, your career might never fully recover.

Continuous learning

The world of filmmaking never, ever considers you finished. Even the greatest artists continue to grow. You can demonstrate that you are modest enough to recognise that you can always improve, as well as being really hungry and enthusiastic about your craft, by continuing to perfect your talents, learn new things, and focus on your art. The very best editors all exhibit this quality.

Additionally, getting a degree in editing is simpler than ever. You can study books, watch YouTube tutorials, and enrol in a variety of courses created and instructed by the very best in the industry. Additionally, you ought to interact with peers and people you admire while studying the greats. Cutting another editor’s reel, for instance, can teach you a lot.

Last thoughts

These are the 17 key abilities for video editing that any prospective editor should strive to learn. There are others, of course, but this trio of technical, interpersonal, and social abilities will provide you with the strongest base possible. You’ll just need to put some of these abilities into practise in real life and hone them as you go, like the social aspects of being a great editor. Other things, including technical abilities, can be self-taught through a variety of media, from books to podcasts and YouTube promotion.

Whatever you choose to do, the moment is now. The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projects that over the next ten years, employment of film and video editors will increase by 14%. There has never been a better or simpler moment to become a great video editor with the amount of free information and knowledge available online now (including this article you’re reading).