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Job hunting: That’s what friends are for

No job-hunter should brave the wilderness all alone —that’s what friends are for.

No job-hunter should brave the wilderness all alone —that’s what friends are for.

The vast online jungle of job boards can fool the unemployed into confusing job-seeking for a solitary art, practiced in privacy while the rest of society mingles over coffee.

But if good job-seekers know how to mass e-mail resumes, then great job-hunters know how to amplify their job searches into group efforts — by roping cousins, colleagues and even total strangers into their quest for those hidden treasure chests of unadvertised openings.

“There’s probably 8 million jobs out there that nobody knows about,” Careerealism.com founder J.T. O’Donnell posits. “That’s because businesses are saying, ‘I’m not going to publish the position; but, boy, if the right person crossed my desk, I would pull the trigger and invest.’”

Crossing the right desk at the serendipitous instant requires more than just chance — it takes a knack for hassling old pals for new job leads without them even realizing what’s happening.

Start by easing in, “Connecting With Success” author Kathleen Barton recommends.

“Send them a personal message, ‘How’s your job going,’ something to that effect,” she suggests. “That gets the conversations started. Then you can share with them an update, that you’re in a career transition and looking for something new.”

“Don’t directly ask somebody for a job,” concurs careers blogger Lindsay Pollack. “You want to meet up with people for advice, you want to chat and discuss current events in your industry, but you do not want to show up, shove a resume in someone’s face and say, ‘I need a job.’”

Mostly, she says, because that smacks of desperation — and while you’re looking for a job, becoming ever more penniless, frustrated and despondent — businesses are looking for can-do spunk.

“You don’t want to be arrogant, but you want to project confidence,” Pollack says. “Don’t unnecessarily put yourself down.”

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