Substituting between 通して and で

I’m curious how they differ. Like I understand the differences but wondering what the difference is in switching between these two for certain situations.
友達を通してこの仕事を見つけた。
友達でこの仕事を見つけた。
for example.

The same meaning? Is one correct and the other isn’t? Just style choice?

で doesn’t sound right to me for that usage, though I’m not sure I have something to point at for why.

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In general, を通して feels a lot more formal than で. It’s something you might use in an article, a formal presentation and such, but not on a casual talk. It feels pretty awkward and “why are you out of a sudden talking like that?”

Other than that, I’m pretty sure there should be a lot of cases you can use で but can’t use を通して, because there is nothing で can’t do in this language, lol.

Lastly, I’ve checked my grammar book and it namely says
「によって、をもって、を通じて、を通して」は「で」と比較して文体的にやや硬く感じられます。

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Also, I agree with Leebo for your specific example 友達でこの仕事を見つけた

I can’t point the exact reason, but I feel like casual Japanese for that scenario would go along the lines of 「この仕事は友達が紹介してくれた」 or such.

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で does indeed sometimes not work, according to the usage table at the bottom of this thesaurus entry.

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Funnily enough, their example of no で but yes を通して is pretty much OP’s example itself, right?

知り合い{✕で/〇を通して}就職口を探す

Lastly, adding my last two cents to the discussion, my grammar book also says that:

格助詞の「で」は(…)といった様々な意味を持ちます。これらの意味は、(…)前に来る名詞の性質によって解釈されています。
格助詞の「で」は、このように多くの意味を持つため、意味を理解しにくい場合もあります。特に文が長くなった場合には、意味を特定化しやすい形式を使って述語と名詞句の結びつきをわかりやすく表示しなければ、文の意味が通じにくくなります。このために複合格助詞が用いられます。

Which is to say that “で” is too much of a free-for-all and context-dependent particle, so specially on longer sentences, changing it to alternative expressions with a clearer meaning (such as を通して) helps on parsing the sentences and leads to better texts.

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Two thoughts: If you’re going to use this way to say it, 通して sounds better to me.

Second, a more colloquial way to say the same thing would be, perhaps, 友達のかげで仕事ができました。 In my opinion, what you’re trying to say, (Which, I realize I’m only assuming–but it’s, “I found this job through a friend.”?) is best translated not word-for-word, but a bit more colloquially.