Formal communication is on the wane in modern life, but there are still times when it's the only correct way to reinforce a connection or convey information. If you're applying for a job, looking for a recommendation, or expanding your network, err on the side of formality. Don't let the slightly archaic feel of a formal business letter tempt you into using flowery, outdated language.
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."