Selecting the people to include on your list of references when you are applying for a new job is probably as important as writing a good resume.
Employers may not contact all of the people on your list of references, but they will probably contact one or two. Before you prepared your resume you examined the advertisement for the position carefully so that you would be sure to emphasize your skills and experiences that were required for the successful candidate. When drafting your list of references it is also important to consider who will provide the information that will highlight your skills and experiences that apply to this new position.
This of course will depend on the requirements of the position and who will best be able to speak for your abilities in these areas. For example, there is no point in asking your friend to be one of your references if he or she does cannot talk about your performance at your previous jobs. However, if you are applying for a position on a volunteer board it may be helpful to have your friend on your reference list. You should also consider different categories of references, past supervisors, college professors, co-workers, etc.
Remember it is not necessary to send the list of references with your resume unless the ad specifically asks for it. This will give you more time to consider who would be the best people to include on your reference list for this specific job.