For Supervisors

This is a guide for on-campus employers which explains posting a job, recruiting and hiring students, using SOLAR, types of positions, work hour/intersession restrictions, and contact information.

On Campus Student Employment Guide

Once you have selected the student you wish to hire as a student assistant (using your department's state/research/FSA funds) or as a Federal Work-Study student (using the student's FWS award), you complete the hiring process in SOLAR.

If your department operates on FSA funding, the Faculty Student Association (FSA) operates an array of auxiliary business services and programs for the campus, such as dining and bookstores. FSA employs close to 500 students in a wide range of capacities. Contact the FSA Student Staffing Resources office for additional information or visit the FSA Student Staffing Resources website for details.

Call or email Carla Kentoffio at (631) 632-1704/(631) 632-9306 or .

Access to Student Employment in SOLAR

A department may designate a Student Employment Coordinator to manage student employees.

  • The Student Employment Coordinator's supervisor must submit a request form to Human Resource Services Student Employment.
  • Once approved, the Student Employment Coordinator will receive an invitation to the next training class provided by DoIT.
  • Access is granted upon completion of training.

Questions can be directed to Karen Diebel, Human Resource Services Student Employment/Payroll, at (631) 632-4446/(631) 632-6094 or

For your convenience, here are the references for each step in the hiring process through SOLAR.

Request Form
Viewing and Creating Assignments in SOLAR
Hiring Students into Assignments in SOLAR
Extending Assignments in SOLAR
Maintaining and Updating Assignments in SOLAR
Approving Student Timesheets in SOLAR
Downloading Reports in SOLAR
SOLAR Navigation Tips
Hiring Students – 15-Minute Tutorial Video
Hire the Student Tutorial PDF

*Note: In SOLAR there are two kinds of positions that students can be hired for:

Student Assistant – Job ID# 1971 and Federal Work-Study – Job ID# 1721

Posting A Job on Handshake

Handshake is the Career Center’s online recruiting database. Using this site you can post jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. You can also search for eligible students, attend a job fair, and more.

Posting A Job tutorial

How To Post A Job on Handshake

Handshake FAQs

How do I make a user account?

  1. Go to When you fill out the form, be sure to use your Stony Brook email account. Click "Create User" when done. You will be sent a confirmation email (if you do not see it, check your spam folder.)
  2. Click the link in the email, then log in at You will be asked to join your company or create a new company : please join the company Stony Brook University. You will be shown a confirmation that your account is now awaiting verification. Once you are granted approval, you will be able to use the system and post jobs. You will select your division/department when posting jobs or registering for job fairs.

How do I differentiate between a Federal Work-Study position and a student assistant position?

Besides tailoring your job title according to the position, you can also put filters on so only Work-Study students can apply. While creating a job, go to the top of the requirements page. There will be a checkbox for Federal Work-Study students. Select the box if you are ONLY looking for Work-Study students. This post will no longer be visible to other students. We highly suggest making separate posts for different positions. This will help target your candidates and let students know what they are qualified for.

How do I expire my job posting?

To expire a job posting, go to your current job post. Click Edit, in the right-hand corner underneath your name. You will then be able to change the expiration date under the “Schools” tab.

Why should I develop my job description?

Strong job descriptions are essential for both students and their supervisors as a written record of job expectations. This will let the student know if they are qualified, whether the position is of interest to them, and what will be expected of them if hired. This will help supervisors recruit the strongest candidates, and it will serve as a reference when providing the worker with performance evaluations.

How do I register for a career fair?

After logging into Handshake, you will see a black toolbar on your left-hand side.

  • Select Campus -> Fairs

In the top left corner, there will be a search bar. Type in “Stony Brook University”. This will filter out other schools’ fairs.

Click the fair you would like to attend. On the Fair page, you will see a blue button on the left-hand side to Register.

Is there an app for this?

Yes! You can download the Handshake app on your iPhone. Android compatibility coming soon.

Who should I contact for help?

Contact Student Employment Program Assistant Casey Savin at (631) 632-1297 or .

How To Write A Proper Job Description

Strong job descriptions are essential for both students and their supervisors as a written record of job expectations. This will let the student know if they are qualified, whether the position is of interest to them, and what will be expected of them if hired. This will help supervisors recruit the strongest candidates, and it will serve as a reference when providing the worker with performance evaluations.

Job Responsibilities

When writing the job responsibilities for the position, consider these questions.

What will the student be doing on a daily basis?
Are there any bigger projects the student will be working on?
With whom will the student be interacting?
What will the student be responsible for?

Skill Development

Skill development is important for the recruitment of students. Student employment can serve as a meaningful and experiential activity for workers. Therefore, these students should be aware of what they can learn by working for your department.

What are some transferable skills the student may gain?
How can this job help them in their future endeavors?
How will this job serve as a talking point on their resume?

Desired Skills/Requirements

When deciding on the skills and qualifications for the position, consider these questions in the following areas.
Job Type: What kind of position(s) are you hiring for? Student assistants? Federal Work-Study positions?
Education: Are you looking for students of a certain major? Certain GPA? Will you hire an undergraduate or a graduate student?
Experience: Should the student have previous experience in the field? Are there any programs the worker must be proficient in to complete their duties? What are some of the skills necessary to succeed in this position?
Physical: Will the student be lifting or performing any manual tasks? Will the student be spending long periods of time standing?

Application Instructions

This will explain to the student how to properly apply for the position.

Would you like a resume and/or cover letter?
Do you prefer references or letters of recommendation?
Should the student submit their materials through Handshake?

Sample Job Descriptions

Here are five sample job descriptions to assist you while posting a job. Please keep in mind that these are larger position descriptions in the hope that they will allow you to pick and choose responsibilities and desired skills tailored to the position you are hiring for.

Sample On Campus Job Descriptions

Remember that for many students, this will be their first interview. It is important for them to practice interviewing through student employment positions. Before beginning the interview, make sure all interviewers are familiar with the job description. Be sure each interviewer knows exactly what you are looking for to fill this position.

Starting the interview with introductory questions is a great way to understand why the student applied for this position. For example:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you know about our department?
  • What do you hope to learn in this position?

Think of the skills required for the position and ask them to give examples of times when they displayed these traits. For example:

  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake and how you handled it.
  • What have you done to display leadership skills?
  • People may get agitated on the phone with you in this position. How would you address these callers?

Another great way to learn about the student personally is to ask them questions about their academics. For example:

  • Describe your favorite professor.
  • What has been your best/worst class at Stony Brook so far, and why?
  • Why did you choose your major?

As a supervisor of student employees, the likelihood of being asked to serve as a reference is very high. Students will often seek your assistance when they are transitioning to the workforce.

Accepting the Request

When a student employee asks you to serve as a reference, think about how well you know them and their working style. If the student has been working in your department continuously and always produces quality work, you should support the student employee and agree to be a reference.

Declining the Request

If you are unsure about your ability to serve as a reference for this student, politely decline the request. Be honest – it is better to let the student employee know you’re not comfortable than to give their prospective employer a less than strong reference.

Here are some ways to politely decline a reference request:
“I don’t think I am familiar enough with your working style to be a strong reference.”
“I'm unaware of the skills that qualify you for this type of job. I think finding someone else would be more beneficial to you."

Being a Strong Reference

Think about what made this student employee good at their job. Why did you enjoy working with this student employee? Why did they stand out as a worker?
It may be smart to ask the student for a job description or information about their career goals. This will help focus your answers on what the employer and the student specifically want.

A strong reference will provide specific examples of times when the student employee excelled. For example, instead of saying, “Karen was a good leader,” you can elaborate by explaining, “Karen took initiative on an office presentation with little supervision.”