Before I got my job at Raytheon, I was writing my resume by myself and it looked pretty bad compared to other resumes. Like I said, I was never taught how to write one. All of my information was organized poorly and I included information there I didn't need.
I found a tool from Career Services at the University of Arizona where it writes a resume for you. It was free, at least when I was in school, and was a step-by-step process. I wrote an objective statement, my degree information, coursework, and work history.
The format and structure was handled by the program. I only wrote down my information and it did the rest.
As for the information, I included everything I had ever done. All coursework, experience, skills, and work history. I saved this resume into a Word file and used it as a template for any other resume I needed.
When I went to apply for another job, I would make a copy and delete everything out of the copy not related to the position I was applying for.
Why did that take so long to figure out?