Contact Information: The first section of your letter should include your contact information and the contact information of the person you are writing, too. Also, include the date you are writing at the top of your letter. Letter Salutation: Unless you know the reader well and typically address them by their first name, you should include the person's personal title and full name in the salutation (i.e., "Dear Mr. James Franklin"). If you are unsure of the reader's name, include his or her title (i.e., "Dear Executive of Marketing"). If you are unsure of the reader's gender, simply state their full name and avoid the personal title (i.e., "Dear Jamie Smith"). If you are unsure of the reader's gender, name, and title, simply write, "To Whom It May Concern." Leave one line blank after the salutation.
In these days of email and instant messaging, letter writing is becoming a lost art, and especially the formal letter. I’m pretty sure that formal letter rules are still taught in schools, but very little of it sticks. If you’re an executive or other high_ranking person within an organization, you can probably rely on your secretary or assistant to handle the niceties of letter writing, but for everyone else, knowing how to write a strong letter ourselves is important.