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Everyone knows about the social networking group Facebook but if you’re job hunting you need to be aware of some of the business networking sites out there.

Perhaps the most famous is LinkedIn but there are a number of others, including those specific to industries such as computer programming, public relations or even mums working from home.

These are not the places to share dubious jokes or ‘really funny’ video clips. This is where you need to be professional at all times – your future boss is watching you! I’d recommend setting up an account with a separate ‘job-hunting’ identity for yourself to keep it away from the jokey comments and material you’d post on your Facebook account.

The advantage of sites like LinkedIn is you can create a profile or CV which the site then associates with various groups or job opportunities relevant to you. The wider you cast your net with regards to job skills and industries in which you would like to work, the more jobs will be pushed your way.

But it’s not just the blatant job ads at work on these sites, it’s the networking. Link with key people in your chosen career and you’re more likely to hear about job opportunities or training courses ahead of the pack. And don’t be afraid to show off a little about any contract work, new projects or training courses you have completed – they will all help flag up your potential to future bosses.

The forums and chat areas of networking sites enable you to ask questions of top people in their field with whom you’d never normally get a look in. And they’ll usually be glad to offer their advice free of charge. The harder you work such networking sites the more benefits you will accrue but at the very least make sure your profile is kept up to date and that you interact with the site at least once a week.