Your references are one of the most important players of your job search game. These valuable people will often contribute to the final decision of the hiring manager of whether or not to make you an offer. Make sure the selection of your references occur before you begin your job search. After deciding what your target list of organizations will be, and the type of positions you will seek, reach out to professors, colleagues, former managers etc. to request a meeting. During the meeting share a few samples of the types of positions that you would like to apply for during your search and a tailored copy of your resume. You can also mention a few things that you would like for them to highlight if they agree to be a reference on your behalf. These meetings are also another opportunity for you to share your goals with someone in your professional network.