If you update your CV regularly, that is, each time you do something which should be put on the CV, then you will always have an up-to-date CV.
You will also not forget things that were important but become forgotten as you go along. When I was recreating my CV about three years ago, I went to older versions and discovered things that I did not remember having done. But, once I saw the list, I had vague memories associated with the items on the list.
Recently I realized that an encyclopedia article that was accepted was not on my CV. When I went to put it on there, I found out that the editors had not received my contributor’s information. So I need to send that. But I have another item on my vita.
The good thing about having in-process publications is that you show a pipeline.
I have 27 publications listed on my CV. Seventeen of those are already published. Ten of them have been accepted. In addition, I have a list of four “In Progress” works. One of these has been conditionally accepted; if I get my chair to write a foreword, I will be published. One has been submitted. One has been solicited and I have a solid draft. One has a first draft written.
If a search committee (or tenure review committee) asked to see my in-progress works, I could print off and hand them physical work without panicking. Anything that doesn’t have substance to it does not go on my “In Progress” list. If I am researching, note taking, or coming up with ideas, those are NOT on the list.
I find this area the one I am most likely to forget about. Some people divide their service into three distinct genres: professional, institutional, and community. My lists are divided into Service and Community Service.
Okay, it was. As I wrote that, I decided to see what it would look like divided into three service lists. Now it is.
Professional service has nine items. None of these are particularly impressive. That tells me I need to strive to be more involved professionally.
Institutional service has seventeen items. Although the colleges want us to do this, there is little incentive for having done it.
Community service has six items. Only work which I think is significant is included on this. Some of those would be deleted, depending on the college or university I was sending the CV to.
You might suppose that references do not need to be updated. However, mine needed updating this year for two reasons.
First, I needed to change how many years one of my chairs had been my chair. She is no longer my chair, so that number will not continue to increase, but it did between last year and this year.
Second, one of my former chairs is now at another university. I needed to get her new contact information and put it into my CV.
After this year I will add another reference, my new chair. But since I haven’t been reviewed yet, I’m going to leave him off right now.
If you do not move and your references don’t either, then you may not need to review references often. But if you have a line like “has been my chair for x years,” then you will need to review it every year.
I have five chairs listed on my short reference list. I moved. They changed.
On my long reference list I have seven chairs and two non-chairs. One is retired. One is fixing to retire. One is no longer chair and is now an assistant dean.
Even your references may need reviewing.