Work from home: How to add a Zoom virtual background

If you have been thrust into a work-from-home mode due to the coronavirus, you may be using Zoom.

Did you know that Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems?

Perhaps you have seen people using the Zoom virtual background but wondered how it worked. I will guide you to a solution but first a little background.

My experience with working from home

I started working from home much earlier than many people. I have 30-40 years of experience working and living in the same space.

Design Resumes is a consultative resume writing and career marketing firm. I built the business from a local-only across the desk resume writing business to a comprehensive and robust virtual resume writing and career services firm with clients located across the United States and in Europe. My technology has evolved just like yours has and Zoom became my video technology of choice in 2016.

The use of Zoom as the technology has allowed me to write, teach, coach, and guide my director to executive-level clients to gain confidence and land new roles in finance, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and CPG as well as a host of other fields. 

The many ways you may be using Zoom for video technology

At the same time as you work from home, your family may be working and learning in the same home environment.

Or you may be conducting interviews from home or being interviewed from home, again with Zoom as the video technology.

You may be a teacher working from home teaching online classes. I have a client in Poland who was thrust into online learning with only two days to prepare. Fortunately, she had just met with me via Zoom so she knew enough to get the class rolling.

My church has started multiple meetings using Zoom as the conduit for Bible study, prayer meetings, and Q&A with the pastor meetings.

If your space isn’t conducive to separate spaces, you may be struggling with the background of your calls.

Enter the Zoom virtual background like the one in my photo at the top of this article.

How do you configure the Zoom virtual background?

Zoom virtual backgrounds work with both the free accounts and licensed accounts, such as mine.

Settings Zoom virtual background

Zoom settings area

        1. First, check for updates.
        2. Under your account photo, you will find a dropdown menu that details multiple actions, including “check for updates.” This ensures you have the latest version of Zoom.
        3. After you complete the update, log out of zoom and log in again to make sure the updates are installed and working.
        4. There are two places to find virtual backgrounds. One is in the list of settings as pictured on the left. The other is located on the up arrow next to the video controls on the navigation bar when you are in a meeting. Both allow you to choose a virtual background. A few are provided and if you click the plus button depicted in the snapshot below, you can add your own photos.

Zoom virtual background area

Enjoy your Zoom Virtual Background!

This allows you to have any background you desire. In addition, you can create your own Zoom background in Canva as well as find resources online for preset Zoom virtual backgrounds.

I taught myself much of the instructions above but I found pointers about the updates issue in this video created by Chris Menard entitled “Solution to Virtual Background not working in Zoom.”

Enjoy exploring Zoom’s many uses.

Learn more about working with Design Resumes here.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.