Should one include a "Last updated on [DATE]" footer at the end of an academic CV? Why or why not?

(I would imagine that context matters. For example, perhaps it wouldn't be advised for a CV that I would submit as part of a job application, but perhaps it's worth including on the version of my CV that I post on my institutional website.)

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    Usually the latest entry can tend to give an idea of how old a CV is, but does depend on how it is phrased... – Solar Mike Feb 11 at 20:54
  • Don't forget to update your "last updated" date, if you use one! (Source: I've forgotten myself in the past... 🙄) – Federico Poloni Feb 11 at 22:45
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    @FedericoPoloni: I use LaTeX for my CV. I add the following two lines to the end of my CV so that it automatically updates the date any time I compile it: \vfill (to make it go at the bottom of the last page) and \emph{Last updated {\today}.} to print the date when the document was compiled. – jvriesem Feb 11 at 23:08
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    @jvriesem That is not a "last updated", it's a "last compiled", though. That's dangerously different (example: I recover a year-old version of my CV from a backup and recompile it). – Federico Poloni Feb 11 at 23:10
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    @jvriesem: LaTeX's \today yields (exactly? almost?) the same date-and-time that pdflatex puts in the PDF metadata anyway. I wouldn't clutter up the CV with it; it doesn't feel particularly relevant. – darij grinberg Feb 12 at 4:19

I almost always include a last updated date on my CVs. There are numerous online copies of my CV that I am no longer in control of and I think it is useful that people can see that what they are looking at is 10-20 years out of date.

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    For .doc CVs, I tend to include this in the file name ("GB CV February 2019") since this makes it easier to ensure I'm attaching the right version. – Geoffrey Brent Feb 12 at 0:14
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    @GeoffreyBrent Until someone renames it, then that information is lost and they and everyone they share the resume with doesn't get it. – Polygnome Feb 12 at 1:52
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    @Polygnome Fair point, but not generally an issue for me. Privacy rules make it exceedingly unlikely that my CV will be re-shared outside the context of the job application that I submitted it for. Definitely relevant for people keeping their CVs up online though. – Geoffrey Brent Feb 12 at 3:16
  • @GeoffreyBrent File names work for .pdf CVs too. Why not include the date in both the file name and content? – Thomas Feb 12 at 7:21
  • @Thomas yeah, I meant ".doc" generically, as opposed to "web page". And certainly doing both is an option. – Geoffrey Brent Feb 12 at 23:09

It's not uncommon for academics to not update their CV for years. That is, only update it when required for a job application or promotion. Thus a "last updated" date provides a useful warning that this CV might not have recent publications and activities on it.

There may also be multiple versions of a person's CV floating around. The date will help you quickly determine which should be used.

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