During the course of the recruitment process, you will inevitably be asked to provide contact details for, on average, four to six references. Too often this exercise is not prepared for in advance. A list of former colleagues and professional acquaintances may prove useful for a cursory validation of your background, however a hastily compiled list may work to your detriment.
I have often found that the references provided by candidates are not able to provide a clear description of an individual’s professional capabilities and competencies. This is especially noticeable when I receive a list of friends who work at what would be considered the same professional level as the person under consideration.