The recommendations feature of LinkedIn is, in my opinion, one of the most under-used and yet highly influential parts of LinkedIn. Giving recommendations to an employee, coworker (past or present), fellow student, or even just a friend, is a fantastic way to support those in your life and to show your appreciation for the work that they do. Watch the video on how to give and receive LinkedIn recommendations...
Just like testimonials in the offline world, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for a recommendation, either. Whether you've just finished a project for a client or are sprucing up your résumé, a LinkedIn recommendation is great addition! I always preach that your LinkedIn profile should be 75% résumé and 25% marketing piece, and a recommendation adds credence to both halves of that equation.
Whether you're looking for a new job, networking for future business opportunities, or trying to gain new clients, the recommendations feature is like a foolproof testimonial. Because only the giver can edit the content of the recommendation, a viewer knows it's genuine and couldn't have been edited (or made up) like testimonials on a website or brochure may be.
So how do we use LinkedIn here at GGC? After we've finished working with a client, we send them a kind e-mail asking them to give us a recommendation on LinkedIn. As we often encounter people who aren't familiar with LinkedIn recommendations, we include a link to the video below so they don't have to put too much effort in. We also let them know that we'll likely copy the recommendation and put it on the testimonials page on our website. It's good to let them know how and where it's going to be used.
On the personal side, I peruse my cadre of LinkedIn connections every few months and when I come across a friend or colleague who I think deserves a few kind words, I don't hesitate to give them! Who says it's only for employees/employers? Even if we've never technically worked together, I am still happy to effuse my opinion on how great they are (though I'm sure to point out the professional merits of their awesomeness.)