Well, I was a recruiter for many years. Any gap in employment would jump out to me.
**cue story** I was a health care recruiter, for hospitals, so I would recruit anything from physicians to housekeeping. I scanned hundreds of resumes, maybe thousands. My favorite story was a maintenance tech who had a 5 year gap of employment. I questioned him, and he stated he was "self-employed" during that time. I accepted the answer at face value because he was recommended by someone else in the department, and it wasn't unusual for maintenance guys to have their own "fix-it" businesses.
Anywho, I ran his criminal check…BAM! He was in jail for 5 years, and when questioned, he said that he "didn't think we would check". From that point forward, I always pursued any "gaps" a little further.
From an HR perspective, any gap in employment without a brief explanation is going to jump out at me.
I liked to see "2003-2008, Concentrated on raising my small children", or something.
This shows the employment gap is accounted for, and I (as a recruiter) would follow up during an interview with, "Why are you coming back into the field?"
Which you can respond with, "I wanted to stay home while my children were little, but now that they are older I am ready to focus on my career".
They can't legally ask you about your personal life, so you can skip the divorce, etc. You can throw that in IF you feel that the recruiter/hiring person is sympathetic. But, I hated hearing someone moan on and on about their divorce and how they HAD to work, but didn't really WANT to work.
Just stick with "I enjoyed my time at home with my children, but I am ready to focus on my career now that they are a little older."
me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings