How to Make a Video Editing Reel to Stand Out

Learn how to put together a captivating video reel and land your next gig.

So, you’re interested in crafting an appealing video editing reel to showcase your work and catch the eye of a potential employer. You’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find our best tips on how to make a standout video editing reel.

In totality, you can expect the following in this blog:

  • An introduction to video-editing reels.

  • Expert insight on best practices for crafting an appealing video editing reel, a discussion on which program to use, and also general tips to help you land a job in the film/video/content creation industry.


What Is a Video Editing Reel?

A video editing reel is a snippet of your best work compiled into one short video. Think of a video editing reel as your digital resume.

In other words, a video editing reel will be your personal video editing highlight tape.

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Where Do I Get Started?

This part is completely up to you! You can get started in whichever video editing software you’re most comfortable with, or whichever program your video projects live on.

We’ve had a lot of success pairing Adobe After Effects with Premiere Pro. In fact, we’ve written a few blogs about them, including:

  1. After Effects vs Premiere Pro: Which Is Right For You?

  2. Guide To Sound Effects In Adobe Premiere Pro

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Best Video Editing Reel Practices

So we’ve established what exactly video editing reels are, and which program you might want to build yours in, now let’s dive into those best practices!

1. Highlight (Only) Your Best Work

Remember, this is a highlight tape. Do not cram your entire videography into the reel. Instead, select clips from the top 25% of your body of work.

This is important because you want your reel to be short, sweet, and to the point. Or, at least as concise as it can be.

---> Pro Tip: Your video editing reel should be 60 seconds or less, with 90 seconds being the absolute maximum.

Your goal when creating your reel should be to capture the attention of the viewer in the first 20 seconds, and then utilize the remaining 40 seconds to highlight specific skills and achievements.

2. Showcase Your Editing Style

The purpose of making a video editing demo reel is of course to showcase your technical abilities, but it’s equally important to show off your video editing style.

Everyone has a unique video editing style that they develop over time on the job, from mentors, or like a lot of us, from YouTube videos. You want to let your unique style, or even your personality, really shine through in your highlight reel.

---> Pro Tip: Editing video is essentially storytelling through digital media. It may be helpful to think of your video editing reel as a way of telling your story.

3. Don’t Ignore Your Audio

It’s natural to hyper-focus on your visuals, and many times this is for good reason. However, proper usage of sound effects and musical accompaniment can be the difference in making your reel stand out above others.

Here are some tips:

  • Analyze your clip selection and determine the tone that is being conveyed.

  • Identify the emotional intention of the sequence, and cut to the appropriate beat (music) or sound effect.

  • Avoid copyright music.

    • Not only will this disappoint potential employers, but it’s also illegal.

    • Do ample research to ensure the audio you’re implementing is copyright-free.


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4. Do Not Misrepresent Yourself

You want to condense your best work into 60 seconds, right? However, we need to emphasize the fact that it is your work.

This step is all about setting expectations. Putting your best foot forward does not mean fabricating your experience, technical ability, or knowledge with any programs. Doing this will only set unrealistic expectations for yourself when you do get hired.

Ensure that with every sequence you include, you are transparent about your involvement with the project. This means clearly stating the specific elements you were responsible for, and what software or video editing tools you used for the sequence.

Just because you may have been in the room when a cut was made, does not mean you are the one that made it.

Be transparent!

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5. Final Touch!

Now that we’ve made our video editing reel, what’s next? For starters, ensure that you include your contact information at the end of the reel, so that you are easily accessible.

To take it a step further, it’s best practice to put your highlight reel online, and in a place that is easily linked to.

This means you may have to take the time to build a website and establish it as your online portfolio. But trust us, it’ll be worth it! You want to have a place to send potential employers to so they can watch your reel over and over again, if they so please to.

On top of that, a digital portfolio is an excellent way to stand out in just about any career field.

And lastly, you don’t need a ton of web design experience to make this a reality. Wordpress, Hubspot, or Wix are all excellent places for beginners to start. There are countless tutorials on YouTube, and these web design platforms all offer pre-built templates for digital portfolios.

Final Takeaways:

  • We hope that these tips, tricks, and best practices have allowed you the confidence to dive into your video editing reel with confidence.

  • Pro Sound Effects is your destination for all things audio, and we’ve got countless sound effects to satisfy all your video editing needs.

  • For more information on video and audio production, sign up for our newsletter below. We publish articles frequently covering all things media.


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