When asking people to serve as a reference, choose people who are unquestionably ready to offer a glowing report. If you won't be using them immediately, you should chose people that you would naturally keep in contact with as you move along in your professional life.You want people who have known you for a long time, and who can relay information about your proficiency, skill sets, attitudes, and behaviors. These would naturally be people you respect and care to keep in your network, so they will remain informed about the progression of your career or a trend in your working life.For example, if they have seen the product of your most recent work, they can relay how you've built upon the skills you learned working together. Or if you have been working long hours with extraordinary endurance, they would be able to elaborate on your dedication. If you need "professional references," consider the following: