It seems that most people think of creating a reference list when a hiring manager requests to see one.
Another approach is simply to mention to people with whom you seem to bond that at some point you, should you need a reference, you would appreciate the person helping you. At the same time, let the person know that you are available to assist them whenever needed. Then, when the time comes, you can feel very confident in having people who will speak very positively about your character and your work. Building a reference list becomes simply an element of building your professional network.
Since different hiring managers have different ideas as to the types of people they want to contact, you can find that you feel real pressure to tailor your list to a hiring manager’s request. Instead of being pressed and struggling to build out a list of references at the time that the hiring manager requests the list, you might have dozens of people you can easily contact through your established agreements.
When the time comes to submit your references, you simply open up the directory of professional network and select the people who will work best. Before submitting the reference’s name, simply draw from the contact information in your directory to contact that person, get up to speed with them and ways that you might be able to help them, and let them know that they may likely receive a call from a hiring company.
Do not send references (or a cover letter as an attachment) with your resume. You are burdening potential employers with the stress of managing extra documents they may feel they will never need.
Life is easy. A little planning can help make it even easier. Build your reference list as you make new connections.