8 Tips to Know If a Job Advert Is Real or Fake/Scam - SCHOOLCONTENTS.info

8 Tips to Know If a Job Advert Is Real or Fake/Scam

We won't simply stop receiving posts and updates about job vacancies and job offers somewhere. Yes, you open your WhatsApp, and a message of 'we're recruiting' just pops up. Kindly enough, it was sent to you by your pastor, brother, uncle, or friend.

Then, you're not sure whether the offer is real or just the usual scam. Sometimes, you don't know, even if the vacancies are real, if they are still open or closed.

This was the situation for a few readers who contacted me lately, sharing WhatsApp, Facebook, and Telegram messages received, stating that there were some military and paramilitary vacancies available. Some asked me to confirm if Nigerian Customs was truly hiring. Others inquired about Nigerian Immigration Services, while some were regarding job opportunities at Dangote Refinery, Glo, MTN, FirstBank, etc.

Well, with my wealth of experience as an education consultant, I should be able to guide you and show you how to identify if a job advert is real or fake. And that's precisely what I've done in this post. Let's ride!

1. Check for Contact Details

First and foremost, it's a job offer you should be wary of, even if it's legitimate, if the contact details of the company are not provided in the post. Essential information to look for includes the physical office address, website, and/or phone number.

Having these contact details doesn't guarantee it's not a scam. Scammers are adept at creating deceptive websites that resemble the real company. Including a phone number makes it easier for them to fully engage you on your next call.

However, the reason you should seek this information is to verify it. Begin by conducting a Google search for the actual website of the company in the advertisement. Check the phone number on Google to ensure it belongs to the legitimate company.

A straightforward search for a scammer's website or phone number on Google may reveal that there's already a scam alert regarding the website or phone number. Some apps, such as Truecaller, can also disclose the identity of potential scammers. For added confirmation, you can call the company using the official phone number to validate the legitimacy of the job offer."

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2. Check for Adequate Job Description

Exercise caution when confronted with vague job descriptions devoid of specific details about responsibilities and requirements. A reputable company will explicitly outline the position and duties expected of a prospective employee in its advertisement. If this essential information is absent, it raises suspicions of a potential scam.

A genuine company doesn't need to excessively embellish the attractiveness of a position in its advertisements. It seeks serious-minded applicants and is likely to present the ad with comprehensive responsibilities that may deter casual applicants. If the advertisement appears overly inviting, it's a red flag, and you may want to reconsider and exercise caution.

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3. Watch out for Red Flags

Stay vigilant for red flags! Exercise caution if the job posting is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, which is highly unlikely for a legitimate company. Advertisements must undergo thorough vetting before being posted by a company aiming for professionalism. Conversely, scammers are prone to making blunders in their adverts. Keep a watchful eye on such inconsistencies.

Equally, adopt a skeptical stance if the provided email address for application is generic (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo) rather than a company domain. A credible company utilizes its official email for receiving applications, typically with a company-specific domain such as @fmnplc.com, @mtnonline.com, @gov.ng, @edu.ng, and the like.

4. Reconfirm Generic Job Titles

Conduct thorough research on the job title. Search online to determine its common usage and whether the responsibilities align with industry standards. Exercise caution if the job title appears overly generic or too good to be true.

Utilize the strategy of copying and pasting the content of the adverts into your Google search. This will unveil whether the ads are widely circulated and posted by reputable job boards. If the content appears consistently everywhere without significant differences, it's more likely to be genuine.

Be aware that scammers may also post on certain uncensored blogs. When using this method, ensure you consider other factors as discussed earlier and incorporate additional measures for comprehensive verification.

5. Question Simpler Application Process

Be suspicious if the application process seems overly simple, requiring minimal information or no interview. Legitimate companies generally have a formal recruitment process.

Yes, legitimate companies typically follow a formal recruitment process to ensure they find the right candidates for their positions. Here are some key elements of a formal recruitment process:

  1. Job Posting: Legitimate companies post clear and detailed job descriptions that include information about the role, responsibilities, qualifications, and application instructions. These postings are often found on the company's official website or reputable job boards.
  2. Application Submission: Candidates are required to submit their applications through a formal process, which may involve an online application form or the submission of a resume and cover letter.
  3. Resume Review: HR professionals or hiring managers review submitted resumes to assess candidates' qualifications and experience.
  4. Screening Process: This may include initial phone or video interviews to further evaluate candidates' suitability for the position. These screenings are conducted by human resources or recruitment professionals.
  5. Interviews: Shortlisted candidates are invited for in-person or virtual interviews with hiring managers and team members. The interview process may include multiple rounds to assess different aspects of a candidate's skills and fit for the company culture.
  6. Reference Checks: Legitimate employers often conduct reference checks to verify a candidate's work history and qualifications. They may contact previous employers or other professional contacts provided by the candidate.
  7. Job Offers: Successful candidates receive formal job offers, which include details such as the position, salary, benefits, start date, and any other relevant information. Legitimate companies provide clear and official documentation.
  8. Background Checks: Some companies conduct background checks to verify a candidate's criminal history, educational credentials, or other relevant information. This step is typically done with the candidate's consent.
  9. Onboarding: Once a candidate accepts the job offer, the onboarding process begins. This includes orientation, training, and the necessary paperwork to officially welcome the new employee to the company.

6. Watch out For Upfront Payment

A legitimate employer will not ask you to pay money upfront for job applications, background checks, or any other aspect of the hiring process.

Absolutely, that's a crucial point to emphasize. Legitimate employers do not require job applicants to pay money upfront for any part of the hiring process. Here are some common scams or red flags related to requests for payment:

  1. Application Fees: Legitimate employers do not charge fees for submitting job applications. If you come across a job posting that requires payment for applying, it's likely a scam.
  2. Background Check Fees: While some companies conduct background checks as part of the hiring process, the cost is typically covered by the employer. If you are asked to pay for a background check, especially before being offered a job, be cautious.
  3. Training Fees: Some scams involve requests for payment for training materials or courses as a condition for employment. Legitimate employers provide necessary training without charging applicants.
  4. Equipment or Uniform Costs: Scams may involve requests for money to cover the cost of equipment or uniforms. Legitimate employers provide the necessary tools or uniforms as part of the job.
  5. Visa or Work Permit Fees: In cases where international relocation is involved, legitimate employers usually cover the costs associated with visas or work permits for their employees. Be wary of requests for payment related to immigration processes.

It's important to approach any request for payment during the job application process with skepticism. If you encounter such requests, it's advisable to thoroughly research the company, contact them directly using official channels, and consult with trusted sources or career advisors.

7. Trust Top Job Boards and Career Websites

Stick to reputable job boards and career websites where companies are vetted before posting job advertisements.

it's generally a good idea to focus on reputable job boards and career websites. These platforms often have measures in place to verify the legitimacy of the companies posting job advertisements. Here are some popular and reputable job boards in Nigeria:

  1. Jobberman: Jobberman is one of the largest job search websites in Nigeria. It features a wide range of job opportunities across various industries.
  2. MyJobMag: MyJobMag is another popular job board in Nigeria that connects job seekers with employers. It covers a diverse range of job categories.
  3. Hot Nigerian Jobs: Hot Nigerian Jobs is a platform that aggregates job listings from various sources, providing a comprehensive list of opportunities.
  4. Naija Hot Jobs: Naija Hot Jobs is a job portal that features job vacancies and opportunities in Nigeria. It covers a variety of sectors.

When using these platforms or others, it's essential to remain vigilant and apply the tips mentioned earlier to verify the legitimacy of job postings. Additionally, be cautious about providing personal information and always research the company before applying. If a job posting seems suspicious or asks for payment, it's advisable to proceed with caution or avoid it altogether.

8. Trust Your Instincts

If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and be cautious if the job advert raises any doubts.  If a job advertisement promises extremely high salaries or benefits that seem too good to be true for the type of work involved, it could be a red flag.

If a job application or interview process asks for sensitive personal information, such as your bank account details or Social Security number, exercise extreme caution.

Scammers often create a sense of urgency to pressure individuals into making quick decisions. Legitimate employers understand the importance of allowing candidates the time to make informed choices.


That's a comprehensive guide to navigating job offers! With these tips, you'll be better equipped to discern genuine opportunities from potential scams. Remember, scrutinizing contact details, job descriptions, grammar, and the application process can safeguard you. Trust your gut—if something seems too good to be true or raises doubts, proceed cautiously. 

Utilize reputable job boards and verify any payment requests or unusual demands. Your instincts serve as a vital compass. Stay informed, take your time, and make informed decisions. With these precautions, you're better prepared to navigate the job market and avoid potential pitfalls.

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