Guidelines for Names and Titles: The salutation should typically use the person's last name, along with a "Mr." or "Ms." In general, avoid using "Mrs." or "Miss" unless you are certain of how the woman wants to be addressed. When in doubt, default to using "Ms."
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.