Here's what you can look forward to in the new search platform:
Suggestive Search - When you type into the search box, a list of suggested names from your contacts pops up. You can select one of the names without having to type in the whole thing. I think this might come in handy when you're having a hard time remembering a name. Maybe you remember the first letter or the first name, but the rest of it just isn't coming to you - this can help.
Streamlined Search Results - LinkedIn changed the design to make it easier to scan the results. They also added photos. Results can be sorted by relevance, which includes the social graph, or by relationship, relationship + recommendations, and keyword.
Customizable Views Users can determine what info they want returned in their search results. Just click the "Views" drop down menu (next to the "Sort" drop down menu at the top of the results). You can decide whether you want to view headlines, photos, locations and more of the people returned in a search.
Take Action Straight from the Search Results When you mouse over a result, you'll notice links that let you take action. You can send InMail, get introduced (through a common contact), or add that person to your network.
Modify Your Search On the right hand side of the results, you'll notice a form where you can type in additional information to narrow your search down and pinpoint it to more exact specifications. You can search by name, job title, company location, and school.
Save Your Search If you want to return to the results, you can save your search. This is a good idea if you've modified your search or customized your view.
Check out this video to get a good visual for all of the above:
Of course, you'll need to be signed in to LinkedIn to take advantage of all the features in the new platform. Not LinkedIn yet? Our own Carrie Hill explained why you need to be in her article, Small Business Owners Need Twitter and LinkedIn.
Head over to LinkedIn and give the new search a test drive. Then come back and let us know what you think in the comments.