I was talking to a friend from days or yore recently, who's going on the job market again. A few years ago, she quit her tenured position and moved to be with her partner while they started a family. In the meantime, she's racked up impressive publications, though not directly in her dissertation field, and now she's ready to go back to full time academia.
We talked about how to frame her applications, how to best deal with the several year absence from an academic job.
As people who've written and maybe read job letters, what would you suggest?
(My thought is that she should be fairly up front, because people ARE going to wonder, and while there are jobs she won't get because departments devalue women having families or putting family responsibilities ahead of a tenured position, she wouldn't really want to end up in those departments. But maybe I'm too accustomed to my department which is fairly sane though not perfect?)