Introducing Kathlene Sheen, Founder of Sorted by Kath and Beyond Service Awards 'Defence Family Business' Finalist
Kathleen Sheen is a bit of a fairy godmother.
As a resume writer and career coach, she reveals her clients’ best professional selves and helps boost their confidence along the way.
The RAAF and Army veteran started her business, Sorted by Kath, in 2020 during the Covid pandemic.
Kathlene was working as a technical advisor for Apple at the time and was hearing from clients that they were losing their jobs.
“I had lots of clients in tears, panicking, wondering if they were going to get work,” she said.
“Because I've got a recruiting background, I said to my hubby I think I need to start aside hustle helping clients get back into the workforce.”
The 50-year-old began writing resumes at night but within 12 weeks she was fully booked.
Something had to give, so she gave away working for someone else to become her own boss.
“I haven't looked back since,” she said.
Kathlene said Sorted by Kath focused predominately on transitioning defence members and defence spouses.
With her background in recruitment and the public service, and time as a clerk in the Royal Australian Air Force and Army Reserve, Kathlene is able to dig down and find the achievements and strengths her clients don’t even known are assets.
“I ask all my clients, what have been your achievements throughout your career, and they all just freeze and say, I don't have any achievements,” she said.
“Defence members are renowned for saying it and it's because they think, I just did my job.
“Digging those little golden nuggets out, finding those achievements, it's rewarding.
“When I can drag out one achievement, and then send a client their first draft, they're like, oh okay, I get what you're talking about.
“Then all these other achievements come out.
“That's what helps get my clients over the line, putting one or two of their achievements on the cover letter.
“The cover letter gets the recruiters or employers to read their resume, the resume gets them to an interview, and it's also that education process along the way.”
Kathlene said veterans often didn’t realise how impressive their skillsets were.
“They say they've led teams, okay, let's get into that,” she said.
“Because with Army a team could be 200 people, which is generally unheard of outside of defence.
“Sometimes, I'm writing these resumes and they've got so many skillsets.
“It makes me feel really proud of them. I get excited for them and I’m like, let’s get you out there.”
Being the wife of a current serving RAAF member, Kathlene knew from the beginning she wanted to focus on helping fellow spouses.
“I know how hard it is to follow your partner and often sacrifice your career,” she said.
Kathlene said she loved being able to reveal to defence spouses how amazing they really were.
“With defence spouses, they can have that lack of confidence,” she said.
“Seeing them see their resume, and hear them say, oh my god, is that me? I would hire myself.
“That's just the biggest compliment.”
Kathlene said she couldn’t have dreamt the support she’d get from military partners.
“I didn't think my business would pivot and grow so much hitting that defence community,” she said.
“Just that support, it's been amazing.”
In addition to helping spouses, Kathlene also set up a private Facebook group for women looking for work.
“I’ve always wanted to work with women and their mindset and confidence,” she said.
“This private group is where we share jobs that we see.
“I share lots of job seeking tips, lots of tips on building confidence and more vulnerable things about myself as well to build that trust.
“The group has grown to nearly 2000 women, nationwide.
“I'm really proud of that space that we’ve created.”
Kathlene said she was humbled to have been named a finalist in the Defence Family Business Award category of the 2023 Prince’s Trust Australia Beyond Service Awards.
“I was not expecting I would be a finalist,” she said.
This story was written by Courtney Snowden, freelance copywriter and current serving ADF spouse, based in Queensland.
An initiative of the Prince’s Trust Australia Enterprise programme, the Beyond Service Awards are designed to celebrate the entrepreneurial achievements of Australia’s veteran and family business community.
The2023 Beyond Service Awards are proudly sponsored by Gold Sponsor Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Silver Sponsor Saab Australia.
For further information, contact Prince’s Trust Australia via email at: email@example.com.
Kathlene is a finalist for the 2023 Beyond Service Awards – Defence Family Business Award.
Kathlene is the Director and Owner of Sorted by Kath, a professional services company offering resume writing, application assistance, and career coaching. Kath started her business in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally offering pro bono employment services, Kath soon resigned from her full-time position with Apple to support her clients. Her business has thrived as a sole trader, with more than 450 clients worldwide.
Kath offers comprehensive employment support that covers the entire employment cycle. Her clients include transitioning Defence members, Defence spouses, and women returning to the workforce. She also offers a support network for job-seeking women, offers support to Defence spouses accessing the Partner Employment Assistance Programme, and partners with RSL Queensland and Soldier On.
Kathlene is a Defence spouse, based in Ipswich, Queensland.
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