LinkedIn Corp.’s splashy initial public offering of stock earlier this month underscored the company’s status as a major professional network. But several start-ups are banking that the future of career networking is actually on Facebook Inc.

These start-ups point to Facebook’s much broader user base: With 500 million users, Facebook is five times larger than LinkedIn.

But changing users’ mindsets might be a challenge. Some Facebook users are loathe to mix their personal and professional networks, fearing some private information might damage their work reputation.Recruiters, meanwhile, say that LinkedIn has already established itself as the most robust source for job-candidate information.

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